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SpaceX Transporter-8 rideshare mission a big success

Transporter-8 mission was historic moment for SpaceX

Updated on: Jun 14 2023, 12:32 IST
The phenomenal launch of Transporter-89 (SpaceX)
The phenomenal launch of Transporter-89 (SpaceX)

In yet another example of a superbly orchestrated space launch on Monday by the Elon Musk-led SpaceX, the Falcon-9 booster launched the Transporter-8 mission. That number indicates that it was the 8th dedicated smallsat rideshare programme mission. The take-off was from the Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 2:35 p.m. PT.

Notably this was also the 9th launch and landing of this Falcon 9 stage booster. These earlier missions consisted of the NROL-87, NROL-85, SARah-1, SWOT, and four Starlink missions. SpaceX also reached another milestone as this was its 200th rocket launch.

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Since this was a rideshare mission, on board this flight were 72 spacecraft, including CubeSats, MicroSats, a re-entry capsule, and orbital transfer vehicles carrying spacecraft to be deployed at a later time. Within an hour of take-off, these satellites were inserted into a sun-synchronous orbit high above Earth at over 500-km height.

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According to reports, in what is being considered a big success, the mission was carried out by a mix of established and emerging satellite developers, SpaceNews reported.

The rideshare had a number of organisations' products. While Spire deployed three cubesats for collecting weather and tracking data, Iceye had four radar imaging satellites and Satellogic four optical and hyperspectral imaging satellites.

The spacecraft will test manufacturing of high value products. in the space environment. Those products will be brought back to Earth in a return capsule.

Not just for civilian use, SpaceX may also get into military-use missions. Recently, it was reported that Pentagon is buying Starlink satellite communications terminals and services from SpaceX for use by the Ukraine military. It would provide satellite communications “terminals and services” to Ukraine.

“We continue to work with a range of global partners to ensure Ukraine has the resilient satellite and communication capabilities they need,” Bloomberg reported the Pentagon brass as saying.

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First Published Date: 13 Jun, 21:54 IST