SpaceX Successfully Launches Bulgarian Satellite (Photos)

Bulgaria Sat Mission Launch


Elon Musk's private spaceflight company SpaceX launched a Bulgarian communications satellite into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on June 24, 2017.

Bulgaria Sat Mission First Stage


The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket was refurbished after a previous launch on January 2017. The June 24 launch marks SpaceX's second successful commercial flight of a spent first-stage Falcon 9 booster.

Falcon 9 rocket


The Falcon 9 rocket sent the Bulgarian satellite into space from the historic Launchpad 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Pre-used First Stage Rocket Booster


The pre-used first stage rocket booster separated from the second stage about 2.5 minutes into flight, and headed back to Earth, where it successfully touched down on the deck of a robotic SpaceX droneship stationed off the Florida coast.

Falcon 9 Rocket


Shown here, a Falcon 9 rocket sending a Bulgarian communications satellite into space. SpaceX is scheduled to launch another Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 25.

Bulgarian Communications Satellite


A Bulgarian communications satellite launched to space aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on June 24, 2017.

Launchpad 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station


Launchpad 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, shown here, was used for missions from the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs.

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Calla Cofield
Senior Writer

Calla Cofield joined's crew in October 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in space-time, science in comic books, and all the mysteries of the cosmos. Prior to joining Calla worked as a freelance writer, with her work appearing in APS News, Symmetry magazine, Scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. From 2010 to 2014 she was a producer for The Physics Central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (hands down the best office building ever) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Calla studied physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is originally from Sandy, Utah. In 2018, Calla left to join NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory media team where she oversees astronomy, physics, exoplanets and the Cold Atom Lab mission. She has been underground at three of the largest particle accelerators in the world and would really like to know what the heck dark matter is. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter