SpaceX To Launch Bulgaria’s First Geostationary Communications Satellite, BulgariaSat-1.

SpaceX is set to launch the BulgariaSat-1 satellite from launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday June 17th 2017. With a 2 hour launch window between 2:10 and 4:10 PM EDT, SpaceX will launch the satellite into orbit aboard a flight proven Falcon 9 first stage. A first stage landing is likely and due to the payload weight (8,800 lb), it might take place on the autonomous drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You”.

SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage landing on droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" after its first succesful reflight.
SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage landing on droneship “Of Course I Still Love You” after its first successful re-flight. Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX will typically land the Falcon first stage on the drone ship when the launch payload is heavy and the first stage has to burn more of its fuel to get to the desired altitude. 

About The BulgariaSat-1 Payload

BulgariaSat-1 is Bulgaria’s first geostationary communications satellite operated by Bulgaria Sat and manufactured by SSL, based on the space-proven SSL 1300 satellite platform. BulgariaSat-1 will provide high quality Direct-to-Home television and telecommunications services in the Balkans and other European regions. It is equipped with 30 Ku-band BSS transponders to broaden the availability of advanced television services such as high definition television.

Artists rendering of BulgariaSat-1
Artists rendering of BulgariaSat-1. Courtesy SSL

“BulgariaSat-1 is an essential part of Bulsatcom’s strategy to expand high quality TV and communications offerings to meet customer demand,” said Maxim Zayakov, chief executive officer of Bulgaria Sat. “SSL has been an excellent partner in helping us make our vision a reality and we eagerly await next month’s launch.” 

The satellite is expected to work for a minimum of 15 years with a projected fuel life of over 18 years, thanks to the lifting capabilities of the SpaceX F9 launch vehicle and the actual actual super-synchronous transfer orbit (SSTO) launch.

BulgariaSat-1 European Coverage Map.
BulgariaSat-1 European Coverage Map. Courtesy: BulgariaSat
BulgariaSat-1 Balkan Coverage Map.
BulgariaSat-1 Balkan Coverage Map. Courtesy: BulgariaSat

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