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SpaceX to launch Bulgarian satellite in June with used first stage

Capitalism in space: SpaceX will fly its second used first stage in June when it launches a Bulgarian communications satellite.

In a statement, BulgariaSat said its BulgariaSat-1 spacecraft is scheduled to launch in mid-June on a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The first stage of that Falcon 9 will be the same one that launched 10 Iridium Next satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in January. Maxim Zayakov, chief executive of BulgariaSat, said the use of a reused first stage lowers the launch price and “makes it possible for smaller countries and companies to launch their own satellites.”

The company did not disclose the price it is paying for the launch, including what discount it is receiving for using a “flight-proven” first stage.

Previously SpaceX had said it would charge about $40 million for a launch using a previously flown first stage, so I would suspect the discount is somewhere around that.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

One comment

  • Des

    The base price is about 60 million for a falcon 9. There was talk about the potential of saving 30% with reusability but spacex needs to recoup it’s investment in reusability. The speculation is that spacex is offering a 10% discount currently, so price would be just over 50 million perhaps. The biggest benefit for a customer may be the ability to jump the queue and launch earlier than a new core.

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