SpaceX to launch 105 spacecraft in one fell swoop today

SpaceX is planning a space carpooling with its Falcon 9 rocket. The third of its kind. On board, 105 spacecraft.

The launch in summary

  • What ? SpaceX’s third shared flight;
  • When ? January 13, 2022, at 4:25 p.m. (French time);
  • Where ? In Florida ;
  • What will we see? Placing 105 spacecraft into orbit.

What is the mission?

SpaceX organizes a “shared flight”, that is to say a kind of space carpooling which allows several companies to join forces to afford a flight that they could not afford on their own, because it costs too much. or because it is not worth it compared to the price of the satellite to be sent or the stake of its mission.

For this mission, the third of its kind operated by SpaceX, the Falcon 9 rocket will have many people on board: there are indeed no less than 105 spacecraft, a record in the genre. These are obviously small devices, taking into account the reduced space in the casing of the launcher: they are cubesats, microsats or even pocketqubes.

The Falcon 9 rocket during the Transporter-1 mission. // Source: SpaceX

Among these 105 machines, there are 44 SuperDove satellites, which must join the constellation of Planet, which is in the process of being built. This is devoted to Earth observation and will count, with this launch, more than 240 satellites in orbit (SpaceX has already launched 83 for its part, during seven shots). Others will occur by 2025.

Regarding SpaceX, the first stage of the rocket that will be mobilized today has already been used for five Starlink missions, but also for the manned flight Demo-2 and for the Anasis-II, CRS-21 missions (refueling the International Space Station) and the very first space-sharing mission, Transporter-1. Of course, SpaceX plans to retrieve the first stage of the launcher after firing.

Launch date

The take-off of the Transporter-3 mission is scheduled for January 13, 2022, at 10:25 a.m. local time, i.e. 4:25 p.m. in mainland France. If necessary, SpaceX has at its disposal an alternative launch window the next day, January 14, 2022, at the same time. Take off is from the Cape Canaveral, Florida launch pad on the east coast of the United States.

How to follow the live launch

The launch is broadcast on SpaceX’s official website and on its YouTube channel. The video is available below:

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