Over the last few months, SpaceX has out-SpaceX-ed itself in the best way possible: it’s launched an already used rocket into orbit (and landed it), ferried up a spy satellite, and even flown a recycled Dragon spacecraft. But this weekend, the aerospace company will tackle a new challenge: two launches within 48 hours. It’s nerd nirvana.
SpaceX kicks off its first launch today from Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A, where it will send off a Falcon 9 rocket with a previously-used booster. The booster first launched on January 14th, on SpaceX’s Iridium-1 mission. In today’s mission—called BulgariaSat-1—the booster will help ferry up a Bulgarian communications satellite into geostationary orbit. This will be the second used booster to ever launch, and, as an added bonus, SpaceX will be attempting to land the rocket upright on a drone ship at sea, something it’s only accomplished half a dozen times.
The launch is set for 3:10pm EDT. You can watch the whole thing, starting at 1:55pm, either here or below—whatever you want. I won’t tell you how to live your life.
Things heat up again on Sunday, June 25th, when SpaceX launches a new Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. SpaceX will once again be teaming up with Iridium—this time, to ferry up 10 satellites for the company’s NEXT network. Further launch details are forthcoming, but we will update this post when we know more.
According to former Obama space policy advisor and SpaceX official Phil Larson, SpaceX has designed all of their hardware with rapid launch cadence in mind. The aerospace company has long expressed its goal of cutting launch turnaround time to a few weeks or even days, so this is a significant step.
“This weekend is exciting but is just the beginning for SpaceX,” Larson told Gizmodo. “This is one piece of the puzzle in terms of accomplishing their ultimate end game.”