Elon Musk sent a Bulgarian Satellite into Space with SpaceX's first flight in 2023World | January 5, 2023, Thursday // 11:02| views
A Bulgarian nanosatellite flew into space with the first orbital flight for 2023 of Elon Musk's company SpaceX. The Falcon 9 rocket was launched as part of the multi-customer Transporter-6 mission. SpaceX's mission is to launch 114 satellites from 24 countries into orbit. According to Space Flight News, a Bulgarian satellite is also on board Elon Musk's rocket.
In the announcements about the shared flight, there is no information about the satellite itself and who owns the Bulgarian satellite, but in the meantime, the Bulgarian company EnduroSat announced the successful low-orbit (LEO) launch of the Platform-2 microsatellite.
EnduroSat is one of the successful start-up companies in Bulgaria, which specializes in the development and construction of microsatellites with modular constructions for various purposes. The startup received equity financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the amount of 10 million euros in 2021, and among other investors are the venture capital fund Neo Ventures. EnduroSat has already launched several micro and nanosatellites, some of which were prototypes. Platform-2 is one of the company's first commercial customer missions to be successfully launched into orbit.
The Bulgarian telecommunications satellite BalkanSat is planned to be launched into space in 2023, which should provide services to the public and private sectors through the BalkanSat 30B system. The network will provide communications on the territory of Bulgaria for both the public and private sectors. BalkanSat holds the second geostationary orbit position for the country, the first being owned by BulgariaSat. The latter already launched a satellite in 2017, which mainly provides a DTH (television) signal for the South-East European region.
After a record year of launches in 2022, SpaceX kicked off the new year on Jan. 3 with a Falcon 9 launch of more than 110 small satellites.
Falcon 9 lifted off on the Transporter-6 mission, designed to share a ride with a small satellite, at 9:56 am (16:56 p.m. Bulgarian time) east of Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. The rocket's first stage, making its 15th flight, touched down back at Landing Zone 1 eight and a half minutes after liftoff.
The rocket's upper stage began dropping its 114 payloads into sun-synchronous orbit nearly an hour after liftoff, a process involving 82 separate deployments that took more than half an hour to complete. SpaceX was able to confirm 77 of the deployments in real time.
The largest single launch customer, in terms of number of satellites, was Planet, which had 36 of its SuperDove imaging satellites on board. Planet has already launched more than 500 satellites, mostly cubic satellites like SuperDoves. Albania also launched its first two satellites, and on board the Falcon 9 there are also artificial satellites from Argentina, Australia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Kuwait, Poland, Singapore, Spain , Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA and Great Britain.
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