The launching of Bulgaria’s first communication satellite has been postponed up to June 23, due to a small technical hitch that the SpaceX need to fix (a fairing valve) on the rocket. The mission was supposed to commence on June 19 from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The delay of the next Falcon 9 rocket could lead to a possible double header launch over the weekend.
The launch of the Bulgariasat-1 will be the first satellite for the country. The set date is not a proposed day for the space flight. The launch will open around 2:10 p.m. EDT by June 23, but there will be a back up on June 24. Other satellites are scheduled to commence on June 25 in the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Basically, two satellites can be launched within 48 hours.
The BulgariaSat-1 satellite is expected to offer Direct-to-Home telecommunication and TV services in the European regions including the Balkans. 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. Also, the Sunday spacecraft will be used to launch 10 more satellites for Iridium.
The launch date for the Bulgarian mission has been interrupted several times. On Thursday last week, the plan was pushed forward to Monday. But the launch again was postponed to Friday after the SpaceX crew conducted a routine check up and found that the fairing valve which is critical element need to be fixed.
Many people are eagerly waiting for the launch of the first telecommunication satellite in Bulgaria. The BulgariaSat officials blamed the weather forecasts for the delay that hindered the satellite to be launched on June 15. The Bulgaria Sat initiative will definitely mark the second time that the SpaceX is relaunching a rocket booster. The first relaunch happened on March 30 following a booster from Florida.
The SpaceX has three possible launches to be accomplished from Florida within the month of July. According to Elon Musk, the SpaceX CEO, the delay in the BulgarinSat-1 launch is a safety precaution. The engineering team needs time to replace the valve on the fairing cone to assure the crew of the safety.