SpaceX Launches Third Rideshare Program

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Courtesy of Matthew Paulson (Flickr CCO)

SpaceX Rideshare Program

Thursday morning, SpaceX launched its third rideshare program from Cape Canaveral since January 2021. The Falcon 9 released 105 satellites over 30 minutes. The rideshare program allows the company to release satellites from several companies at once.

As scheduled, the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on the Transporter-3 mission at 10:25 a.m. EST.

Many of the satellites on board were no bigger than a shoebox, as described by UPI. The Falcon 9 flew for an hour before releasing any satellites. Those were released a few at a time. SpaceX has confirmed the successful deployment of 103 satellites, and they are working to find the location of the missing two.

Satellites Launched

Engineer for SpaceX, Kate Tice, said, “SpaceX is targeting at least three dedicated rideshare flights to sun synchronous orbit per year, and we also offer opportunities for a ride to orbit on our Starlink missions which launch every couple of weeks.”

Nine minutes after liftoff, the first stage booster made its 10th landing on a landing pad 10 miles from the launch site.

The day before the launch, one of the companies on board posted on Twitter about their Madrid-based satellite, the first 6 FOSSASAT-2E IoT. FOSSA sent six picosatellites on Thursday.

Other customers aboard the SpaceX flight included Planet, based in San Francisco. They sent satellites to observe the Earth, as did the Ukrainian government.

The Flights of Falcon 9

After this run, the Falcon 9 rocket has successfully launched 550 satellites into space. It has flown

SpaceX
Courtesy of Official SpaceX Photos (Flickr CCO)

every two months since the launch of the rideshare program in January 2021. The rocket has been used and reused since 2020 when it flew cargo and a crew member. It has flown ANASIS-II, Transporter-1, and CRS-21.

The Falcon 9 has flown 10 times and has completed its 102nd SpaceX recovery.

Transporter missions are designed for companies that do not have a specific place for their satellite to be in space. Space.com describes it as a bus route, “You just book it and go.”

Sources:

Space.com: SpaceX launches 105 small satellites into orbit, nails rocket landing
arsTECHNICA: Falcon 9 completes launch, has now lifted 550 satellites into orbit [Updated]
Space.com: SpaceX launches 105 small satellites into orbit, nails rocket landing

Featured Image Courtesy of Matthew Paulson’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Official SpaceX Photo’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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