SpaceX is attempting to re-launch a Falcon 9 it used first in January, taking off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center with a two-hour launch window opening at 2:10 PM EDT today. The mission, BulgariaSat-1, will attempt to deliver a geostationary orbital commercial comms satellite, the first in Bulgaria’s history, to orbit. The broadcast above should kick off around 15 minutes prior to the opening of the launch window.
The first stage rocket in the Falcon 9 was originally used to launch the Iridium-1 mission from Vandenberg this past January, meaning the rocket has been refurbished and cleared for a return to flight in just six months. If successful, this will be the second re-use of a recovered first stage for SpaceX, and the fastest turnaround time for returning a used rocket to flight ever for the company.
The payload is a satellite designed to provide direct-to-home TV and data connections to parts of Europe, including HDTV and UHDTV broadcast programming. It’s a new client for SpaceX, and this is a key moment in terms of proving out its relaunch capabilities, so there’s a lot riding on today going well. Also, SpaceX is currently aiming to launch another mission, for return client Iridium, in under 48 hours from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, so the stakes are higher still.