WASHINGTON – A communications satellite built for a Bulgarian operator will be the second payload to launch a previously controlled Falcon 9, the operator announced 5th of May
In a statement, BulgariaSat said it scheduled its BulgariaSat-1 satellite for launch in mid-June on a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first stage of Falcon 9 will be the same stage that launched 10 Iridium Next satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force base in California in January.
Maxim Zayakov, CEO of BulgariaSat, said that using a reused first step reduces launch price and “allows small businesses and countries to launch their own satellites.”
The company did not disclose the price it pays for the launch, including the discount it receives for the use of a first-pass “proven flight”. The list price of a Falcon 9 is $ 62 million for launch in 2018, according to the SpaceX website.
The launch will be the second time that SpaceX has previously used a first step in a mission-driven. On March 30, a Falcon 9 launched the SES-10 satellite operator SES Global, using Falcon 9 first stage, which flew for the first time in a NASA refueling mission in April 2016.
SpaceX has previously said that it planned to fly several missions with the first steps reused this year, in part to resolve the delay of the launches accumulated by the company. “We plan to launch up to six reused pacemakers this year,” said Tim Hughes, senior vice president of SpaceX, at a May 1 symposium on ultra-economical space access here.
BulgariaSat announced last month that the satellite has completed all testing by manufacturer Space Systems Loral in California and has been in effect during the transport to Cape Canaveral for preparations for the launch launch. Preparations for the launch are scheduled for about a month before launch.
Satellite, with an estimated weight of 4,000 kilos, transmits a total of 32 transponders in Ku band to provide services of satellite and fixed by satellite and has a life of 15 years. BulgariaSat said in its statement that 46 percent of the satellite’s capacity will be used by Bulsatcom, a Bulgarian telecommunications provider in Bulgaria and Serbia.
The satellite is an important company for BulgariaSat, which has been working on the project for almost 12 years. “Elon Musk and the SpaceX team convinced me that people love us closer to a new quality of life by providing access to advanced technologies,” Zayakov said in a statement. “This is an opportunity for Bulgaria to participate in efforts to develop these new aspects of the space industry”