Falcon 9 rocket identified as B1058 vertical at Launch Complex-40 / Featured Image Source: SpaceX
SpaceX is ready to launch hundreds of satellites atop a previously-flown Falcon 9 under the SmallSat Rideshare Program which offers customers a cheaper flight by sharing rocket fairing with more payloads. SpaceX’s first dedicated Rideshare mission is called ‘Transporter-1’ –“On board this launch are 133 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles) and 10 Starlink satellites – the most spacecraft ever deployed on a single mission,” the company shared. Transporter-1 will be a record-breaking rocket flight featuring payloads that belong to: NASA, Planet Labs, Exolaunch, Swarm Technologies, Spaceflight, HawkEye, iQPS, Umbra Labs, Celestis, Astrocast, US DOD, USAF, KelplarianTech, NearSpace, Space Domain Awareness, R2, inOrbit, PlanetiQ, Kepler, Astro Digital, D-Orbit, Israel defense, spaceQ, UVSQ, Capella, LINCOLNSHIRE, Tyvax Nano-Satellite Systems, NanoRacks and NanoAvionics.
UPDATE: SpaceX Announced on January 23 -- "Due to unfavorable weather, we are standing down from today's launch; the team will continue with the countdown until T-30 seconds for data collection. Another launch attempt is available tomorrow, January 24 with a 22-minute window opening at 10:00 a.m. EST.
Falcon 9 will carrying all the 143 payloads to space into an altitude of approximately 500-kilometers above Earth to operate in Sun-Synchronous Orbit (SSO). “The Starlink satellites aboard this mission will be the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit,” SpaceX announced on Friday. Launching 10 internet-beaming Starlink satellites into SSO Polar Orbit will enable SpaceX to provide broadband coverage in Alaska, one of the most remote areas in the United States. Read more in the TESMANIAN article below.
Alaska Teacher’s letter may have convinced FCC to approve SpaceX launch of Starlink satellites into Polar Orbithttps://t.co/ykV2mb3lgz— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) January 12, 2021
A four-times-flown Falcon 9 rocket is standing vertically on Launch Pad-40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida awaiting liftoff. The Transporter-1 mission will launch on Saturday, January 23 during a 42-minute timeframe starting at 9:40 a.m. Eastern Time. The rocket that will perform this mission is B1058, is filled with burn marks because it previously launched four missions. Its first flight was the uncrewed Demo-1 Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station in March 2019. Later, B1058 launched the South Korean ANASIS-II mission in July 2020 and a Starlink mission. Most recently, in December 2020, booster B1058 supported the launch of Dragon carrying cargo for SpaceX’s 21st NASA resupply mission to the orbiting laboratory. Now, the booster will fly again and company plans to recover the first-stage booster a fifth time, “Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.” Engineers aim to reuse each Falcon 9 rocket 10 times to reduce the cost of spaceflight. To date, the company has achieved reusing a particular fist-stage booster eight times.
Falcon 9 and 143 spacecraft are vertical on pad 40 ahead of tomorrow’s launch of the Transporter-1 mission, the first dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission; SpaceX's 42-minute launch window opens at 9:40 a.m. and weather is 60% favorable → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK pic.twitter.com/BFEnf8uru9— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 22, 2021
The United States Space Force 45th Weather Squadron forecasts 60% of ‘Go’ launch conditions for Florida’s Coast. “On Saturday, the frontal system will likely be
over the Space Coast, bringing isolated showers to the Spaceport while further enhancing the mid-level cloudiness. The primary launch weather concerns Saturday morning are the Thick Cloud Layer Rule associated with the frontal cloudiness and the Cumulus Cloud Rule associated with the showers,” the 45th Weather Squadron stated in its Launch Mission Execution Forecast. You can watch the Transporter-1 mission Live in the video below Saturday morning, courtesy of SpaceX. [Date and time is subject to change.]
Source: U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.