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SpaceX
SpaceX
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022
Time: 3:25 PM UTC (UTC +0)

This goes

to space

Transporter-3

Rideshare mission

Meet SpaceX’s dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program, designed to greatly lower the cost of access to space for small satellite customers with rideshare flights to Earth orbit.

Small satellites have historically been disadvantaged, having to wait to share a ride to space with a larger payload that might not be going to the exact orbit the small satellite needs for its completely separate mission.

This can be overcome with dedicated launches on small rockets like Electron from Rocket Lab and Launcher One from Virgin Orbit or by large-scale rideshare flights on larger rockets.

Missions like Transporter-3 take advantage of multiple small satellites needing to go to similar orbits. The satellites can then all launch together and customers can pay as little as $1 million for a flight on Falcon 9.

SpaceX is not the only big player hosting the small satellite market. Arianespace from Europe and Roscosmos from Russia both have similar programs.

Transporter-3

This mission was to bring a few dozen spacecraft for multiple commercial and government agencies.

A total of 13 spacecraft from 8 organizations were booked through the company Spaceflight. Due to a leak found in Spaceflight's Sherpa Transfer Vehicle, nine of the payloads had to be removed. Only the three remain on this mission with the other satellites to be rebooked on a later launch.

Announced Payloads:

Planet SuperDoves (44x, 3U)
Kepler (4x 6U)

D-Orbit ION
Guardian (6U, Aistech Space, mfr. OrbAstro)
Stork-1, -2 (2x 3U, SatRev)
LabSat (3U, SatRev)
SW1FT (3U, SatRev)
VZLUSAT-2 (3U 3.9kg, SpaceManic, Czech Republic)

Exolaunch
Fossa PocketPOD deployers x2 (8 sats)
CShark Pilot-1 2P Earth Observation and IoT Satellite
WISeSAT-1 & 2 (2x 2P, WISeKey)
Three (3) third-party satellites
Alba Orbital Clusters 3 & 4 (16 sats)
MDQube-SAT1 (2P, Innova Space, Argentina)
SATTLA-2 (2P, Ariel University, Israel)
PION-BR1 (1P, PION Labs, Brazil)
DelfiPQ (3P, TU Delft, Netherlands)
Grizu-263a (1p)
Unicorn 2A, 2D, 2E (3x 3P, Alba Orbital)

Hades & EASat-2 (2x 1.5P)
Unicorn 1 (2P)
Carnegie Mellon (1P)

Nanoracks
(non-separating) Mars Outpost Tech Demo (111kg)

ISILaunch
Sich-2-1 (170kg microsat, Ukraine)

Satellogic

Spaceflight SXRS-6 (2 ports, 3 customer sats)
UMBRA-02 SAR microsat
Capella 7 & 8 (2x 112kg)

ICEYE US (microsat)

EnduroSat 6U CubeSat platform - Hypernova

Spire/OroraSat 6U

Photo credit: SpaceX's Transporter-1 Rideshare Mission Credit: SpaceX

On this

rocket

Falcon 9 (Block 5)

Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond.

Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket.

Stats
Total launches: 344


Total landings: 301


Total reflights: 275


The Falcon 9 has launched 49 humans into orbit since May 2020

Specs


Height: 70 m / 229.6 ft


Diameter: 3.7 m / 12 ft


Mass: 549,054 kg / 1,207,920 lb


Payload to LEO: 22,800 kg / 50,265 lb


Payload to GTO: 8,300 kg / 18,300 lb


Payload to Mars: 4,020 kg / 8,860 lb

On January 24, 2021, Falcon 9 launched the first ride-share mission to Sun Synchronous Orbit. It was delivering a record-setting 143 satellites to space. And while this was an important mission for SpaceX in itself, it was also the moment Falcon 9 overtook United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V for the total number of consecutive successful launches.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 had become America’s workhorse rocket, launching 31 times in 2021. It has already beaten that record this year, launching almost an average of once a week. While most of the launches deliver Starlink satellites to orbit, the company is still launching the most commercial payloads to orbit, too.

Falcon 9 is a medium-lift launch vehicle, with the capability to launch over 22.8 metric tonnes to low earth orbit. Unlike any other rocket, its first stage lands back on Earth after separating from its second stage. In part, this allows SpaceX to offer the cheapest option for most customers with payloads that need to reach orbit.

Under its ride-share program, a kilogram can be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit for a mere 1.1 million dollars, far cheaper than all other currently operating small satellite launch vehicles.

The reusability and fast booster turnaround times have made Falcon 9 the preferred choice for private companies and government agencies. This has allowed SpaceX to capture a huge portion of the launch market.

Image: SpaceX / Ben Cooper

From this

launch site

SLC-40 - Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida
January 13, 2022

This pad is one of two Florida launch sites leased by SpaceX to prepare and launch its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.

Built in the early 1960s, SLC-40 was used to launch 55 Titan III and Titan IV rockets, including the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, between June 18th, 1965 and April 30th, 2005.

In 2007, SpaceX leased the pad and converted it to launch the original version of Falcon 9.  It was upgraded again in 2013 to accommodate the larger, reusable Falcon 9 rocket

An accident on September 1st, 2016 destroyed the pad when a Falcon 9 blew up during a fueling and engine test.

The pad was completely rebuilt in just 10 months from mid-February to late-November 2017 and re-entered service with the December 15th, 2017 launch of a cargo Dragon capsule to the International Space Station.

Under SpaceX, the pad has seen many significant payloads launched from its grounds, including:

- the first all-commercial ship (Dragon) to reach the International Space Station

- the DSCOVR mission for NASA

- the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) for NASA and MIT

- the first Turkmenistan satellite

- the classified Zuma mission for Northrop Grumman and the U.S. government

- the first GPS-III satellite

- the Beresheet lunar lander for Israel

Cape Canaveral

SLC-40 is located on Cape Canaveral, the primary launch center for the United States.

The Cape has four currently-active launch pads for the Atlas V, Delta IV Heavy, Falcon 9, and Minotaur rockets.

Located on Florida’s east coast, Cape Canaveral provides a wide range of access to space for missions to the Space Station, Geostationary Earth Orbit, the Moon, inter-planetary targets, polar trajectories, and more.

The Cape is ideally suited for reaching all locations in space the U.S. needs access to while launching exclusively out over the open Atlantic Ocean so as not to endanger anyone on the ground.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center, which occupies neighboring Merritt Island, and Cape Canaveral are often confused with each other or referred to as a single place.  They are in fact separate government installations and launch sites.

Cape Canaveral has hosted numerous history-making rocket launches:

- first U.S. Earth satellite in 1958

- first U.S. astronaut in 1961

- first U.S. astronaut in orbit in 1962

- first two-person U.S. spacecraft 1965

- first U.S. uncrewed lunar landing in 1966

The site was renamed in December of 2020 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in accordance with the new branch of the U.S. military its operations fall under.

Credit: Jenny Hautmann for Supercluster

Booster

lands here

Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1)
January 13, 2022

LZ-1

Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) is an 86 meter wide circular landing pad at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and is one of two SpaceX booster landing pads at the Florida spaceport.

Built on former Launch Complex 13, LZ-1 was the site of SpaceX's first successful landing and recovery of a Falcon 9 on the ORBCOMM-2 mission in December 2015. Since then, it has hosted 16 landings.

The landing pad, as well as its twin, LZ-2 located a few dozen meters away, can support both single landings of a Falcon 9 or simultaneous landings of the two Falcon Heavy side boosters.

Photo: Jenny Hautmann for Supercluster

Here's where to view Transporter-3

Viewing Sites
  • Alan Shepard Park
  • A. Max Brewer Bridge
  • Apollo Saturn V Center / Banana Creek
  • Cherie Down Park
  • Cocoa Beach Pier
  • Exploration Tower
  • Jetty Park
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
  • LC-39 Observation Gantry
  • Lori Wilson Park
  • Playalinda Beach
  • Rotary Riverfront Park
  • Sand Point Park
  • Sidney Fischer Park
  • Spaceview Park
Know Before You Go

SLC-40 was built in the early 1960s and hosted its first launch on June 18, 1965. Since then, it has launched nearly 100 missions on the Titan III, Titan IV, and Falcon 9 rockets.

During the Titan rocket era, SLC-40 was used to launch two interplanetary missions: Mars Observer to Mars and Cassini-Huygens to Saturn.

With the Falcon 9, the pad became the first Cape Canaveral site to host a launch to the International Space Station.

The pad is located on historic Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL - the primary launch center for the United States.

The Florida launch site handles the vast majority of U.S. launches every year and has been the starting point of numerous history-making missions for the United States, including:

  • First U.S. Earth satellite in 1958
  • First U.S. astronaut in 1961
  • First U.S. astronaut in orbit in 1962
  • First two-person U.S. spacecraft 1965
  • First three-person U.S. spacecraft in 1968

Space is for everyone. Here’s a link to share the launch with your friends.