SpaceX Falcon Rocket to Carry Iridium Next Satellites Sunday From Vandenberg AFB

The delay implies that SpaceX will have to launch the earlier Falcon 9 rocket with BulgarianSat-1 then afterward; they launch another satellite on June 25.

Bulgarian telecommunications company Bulsatcom said on Monday that the launch of its geostationary communications satellite BulgariaSat-1 - the country's first - has been rescheduled for June 23-24.

The launch will mark SpaceX's second attempt to launch and land a previously flown, or "flight proven", Falcon 9 first stage. Each launch will contribute to replacing the world's largest commercial satellite network and the only network that covers 100 percent of the earth.

Air Force weather forecasters predicted questionable conditions during the two-hour launch window that opened at 2:10 p.m., citing cloud and storm-related concerns.

The company has been contracted to launch BulgariaSat-1, the country's first communications satellite created to transmit television programming to the Balkans and southeastern Europe. It will be located at the Bulgarian orbital position at 1.9 degrees East longitude and will provide reliable satellite communications solutions to broadcast, telecom, corporate and government customers. The satellite carries 30 Ku-band Broadcasting Satellite Service (BSS) transponders to broaden the availability of services such as High Definition (HD) television. Originally built to support the Apollo program, LC-39A supported the first Saturn V launch (Apollo 4), and many subsequent Apollo missions, including Apollo 11 in July 1969. The satellite is equipped with a spot beam which can be used to provide extra capacity over the Balkans, and is created to provide service for 15 years or longer.

This was not a day for space flight apparently, with the planned and often-delayed launch of a Terrier Malemute rocket also being scrubbed from its liftoff from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

  • Carolyn Briggs