The rocket booster was making its second trip, having first launched off the West Coast on January 14. The satellite will be released high above the Earth and will continue to orbit.
The first company to relaunch a rocket and reland on a mission it will try to do it all again Friday, two days before attempting to launch another Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX has successfully reused a first stage for the second time.
"Rocket is extra toasty and hit the deck hard, used nearly all of the emergency crush core, but otherwise good", Musk posted following the landing. It would be the first time the company launched two rockets the same weekend though they'd be taking off from opposite coasts.
The previously flown Falcon 9 first stage made it back to its second droneship landing despite a high-altitude descent that subjected it to extreme heating and stress. 10 Iridium satellites will be onboard the Falcon9. Reduce the cost of access to space so that a small company in a small country can tap into the power of space communications. And completing a second mission with a used rocket will signal to SpaceX's customers that it can pull off the maneuver safely. The ship is christened "Of Course I Still Love You", in a tribute to the sentient starships of Iain M. Banks' science-fiction novels. The rocket will launch from pad 39A, the same launch pad at NASA where numerous Apollo Missions launches from.
But the booster, guided by its grid fins, came back in tip-top shape, sticking its landing on the drone ship.
Once the first stage of Falcon 9 detaches, it will make an attempted landing on a droneship called, "Of Course I Still Love You", that is now stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. It will be placed 22,300 miles in space at the Bulgarian orbital position. He tweeted earlier on Friday that there was a "good chance" SpaceX wouldn't successfully recover the rocket because the mission requirements meant it would have a hard trip home.
Another look at liftoff from historic pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.
"While this is still a secondary objective, this landing is going to prove to be extra challenging for us", said SpaceX engineer John Federspiel during the launch pre-show.
Liftoff from pad 4-East is targeted for 4:25 p.m. EDT. In today's mission-called BulgariaSat-1-the booster will help ferry up a Bulgarian communications satellite into geostationary orbit.
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