The Earth Resources Observation Satellite (EROS C-3) is owned by ImageSat International (ISI). ImageSat is a geospatial intelligence company founded by Israeli Aircraft Industries, EI-Op, and Core Software Technology. It was launched on December 29 atop a veteran Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off at 11:38 p.m. PT from Space Launch Complex 4 East at the Vandenberg Space Force Base, carrying the ISI EROS C-3 satellite into retrograde Low Earth Orbit.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/CbGamn17gi— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 30, 2022
On average, SpaceX launched every 6 days from one of our three sites with 92% of missions completed with flight-proven first stage rocket boosters, and Falcon 9 now holds the world record for most launches of a single vehicle type in a single year— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 30, 2022
The rocket that deployed the EROS C-3 satellite performed its 11th flight. The Falcon 9 first-stage booster that was reused for this mission is identified as B1061-11; It previously launched: SpaceX’s Crew-1 and Crew-2 astronaut missions to the International Space Station (ISS); Then it launched the SXM-8 audio broadcasting satellite for the SiriusXM radio station; Followed by the launch of SpaceX’s 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-23) mission to the ISS; and the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) satellite. The sooty booster also deployed hundreds of small satellites during SpaceX’s Transporter-4 and Transporter-5 rideshare missions. Then it launched the Globalstar FM15 satellite, and two Starlink missions.
Around 8-minutes after liftoff, B1061-11 returned from orbit and touched down on Landing Zone-4 at the Vandenberg Space Force Base. It marked SpaceX’s 160th landing of an orbital-class rocket and the 134th time it reused a rocket’s first-stage. SpaceX shared an incredible video of the landing, shown below.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on Landing Zone 4 pic.twitter.com/kEAYITOoQX— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 30, 2022
The EROS C-3 satellite was deployed to orbit around 15-minutes after liftoff. The Earth-observation satellite is equipped with high-definition cameras capable of beaming video of Earth’s surface for ImageSat’s customers which include the Israeli government and military. No detailed information has been released about the satellite due to national security. The solar-powered satellite is designed to have a lifespan of 10 years. It will operate alongside two EROS satellites that have been working in orbit since the early 2000s. The satellites have been vital to coordinate civilian safety operations during major events, like the Afghanistan war, natrual disasters, even to ensure safety during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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Congrats! SpaceX really increased the amount of annual rocket launches!— Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo (@JaneidyEve) December 30, 2022
26 missions in 2020
31 missions in 2021
61 missions in 2022
Featured Image Source: SpaceX Live Broadcast
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
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.