SpaceX Launches 13 U.S. Military Satellites for Space Development Agency's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture

SpaceX Launches 13 U.S. Military Satellites for Space Development Agency's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture

SpaceX achieved a significant milestone today, September 2nd, with the successful launch of 13 advanced military satellites for the U.S. Space Force's Space Development Agency (SDA). The launch, which occurred at 7:25 a.m. PT (14:25 UTC) from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, marked the second mission supporting the Space Development Agency's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA).

The PWSA is an ambitious initiative by the Space Development Agency aimed at enhancing the United States' military capabilities in space. It involves deploying a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, collectively providing global military communication and missile warning, indication, and tracking capabilities.



Today's launch was carried out using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which successfully placed all 13 military spacecraft into orbit. This mission adds to SpaceX's remarkable track record, with 2023 marking the 61st launch of the year, matching the company's annual record from the previous year with still four months remaining. The company has an impressive launch manifest this year with plans to perform 100 missions, according to SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell. 

SpaceX founder Elon Musk expressed his excitement about the achievement, stating, "Great work by the SpaceX team successfully launching 61 Falcon rocket missions this year! If tomorrow’s mission goes well, we will exceed last year’s flight count. SpaceX has delivered ~80% of all Earth payload mass to orbit in 2023. China is ~10% & rest of world other ~10%," he said soon after the mission. 

The PWSA project began earlier this year with the delivery of the first fleet of 10 satellites in April, forming Tranche 0. The second mission, successfully launched today, contributes to the SDA's plan to deploy hundreds of satellites in "tranches" every two years, each tranche offering increased capabilities over its predecessor.

The Falcon 9 rocket's first-stage, identified as B1063-13, made a pinpoint landing at Vandenberg's Landing Zone-4 approximately 7.5 minutes after liftoff. This was the thirteenth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first-stage booster, identified as B1063-13, which previously launched: NASA's Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, DART, Transporter-7, Iridium OneWeb, and eight Starlink missions. It marked SpaceX's 222nd overall recovery of an orbital-class rocket and the 194th time a previously-flown first-stage booster was reused. See video clip of the landing linked below. 

The success of this launch underscores the U.S. Space Force's commitment to bolstering its space capabilities and further demonstrates SpaceX's prowess in delivering critical payloads into orbit. With the PWSA initiative advancing, the United States continues to strengthen its presence and capabilities in the ever-important domain of space.


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Featured Images Source: SpaceX 

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

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.

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