SpaceX successfully launched its Transporter-9 mission to low Earth orbit, marking the fourth launch of 2023. The mission, which took place at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, included a total of 113 payloads, with 90 deployed directly from the Falcon 9 rocket.
Earth observation company, Planet Labs PBC, played a significant role in the mission, contributing the majority of payloads. This included 36 SuperDove satellites, which will be used for Earth imaging purposes, as well as the “Pelican-1” technology demonstration satellite.
The launch was live-streamed on Spaceflight Now’s Launch Pad Live stream, allowing space enthusiasts to witness the event in real-time. This launch comes after SpaceX’s recent successful launches of Starlink satellites and a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.
One of the highlights of the mission was the successful return of the first stage booster of the Falcon 9 rocket, tail number B1071, to Vandenberg for a landing. This accomplishment showcases SpaceX’s reusable rocket technology and their commitment to reducing the cost of space launches.
Additionally, the rideshare payloads included a diverse range of Earth observation and technology demonstration satellites. German company Exolaunch contributed 11 of the deployed payloads, further expanding international collaboration in the space industry.
Canadian company GHGSat launched three satellites as part of this mission to monitor emissions. One of these satellites, GHGSat-10, aims to become the world’s first commercial CO2 monitoring payload, highlighting the growing importance of addressing climate change from space.
Furthermore, the Djibouti-1A satellite was also onboard, serving the purpose of transmitting data for the Djibouti Center for Study and Research. It will also monitor changes in water resources, providing valuable insights for environmental studies.
The final payload deployed during this mission was FalconSAT-X, a satellite developed by the U.S. Air Force Academy. This satellite will be used for academic and defense experiments, pushing the boundaries of space research and technology.
Overall, SpaceX’s Transporter-9 mission represents another successful milestone in the company’s ambitious space exploration endeavors. With its reusable rocket technology and partnerships with international organizations, SpaceX continues to make significant contributions to the space industry.