Elon Musk led SpaceX launches Globalstar satellite on Falcon 9 rocket
SpaceX has launched its Falcon 9 rocket in the early hours of Sunday morning from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The rocket took off with a Globalstar satellite aboard. The satellite will add spare capacity to Globalstar's commercial satellite data relay network. Elon Musk's SpaceX covered the the Falcon 9 Globalstar FM15 launch event live.
Talking about the launch event, SpaceX mentioned in a statement, “The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission previously supported the launch of Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, one Starlink mission, Transporter-4, and Transporter-5.” The Globalstar-2 FM15 spacecraft is part of Globalstar's second-generation constellation of low Earth orbit communications satellites, manufactured by Thales Alenia Space.
About Globalstar Satellites
Globalstar offers voice and data services all around the world using its fleet of satellites. The company's first-generation constellation, which was put into operation between 1998 and 2000, had 48 operational satellites as well as spares that were already in orbit. The 32 satellites that were initially planned for the second-generation system have been reduced to the 24 that are currently in orbit.
These second-generation satellites, including FM15, have a 15-year operational life expectancy and are built on Thales' Extended Lifetime Bus 1000 (ELiTeBus-1000) architecture. The Soyuz-2-1a/Fregat rockets that launched the 24 satellites that are already in orbit did so in groups of six from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. According to Globalstar's plans, A third-generation spacecraft will gradually replace these satellites starting in 2025, NASA Spaceflight reported.
This Globalstar-2 satellite weighs 700 kilograms, which is carried by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to deliver it to orbit. Also, the Falcon 9's first stage booster is scheduled to land aboard the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), which usually happens in case the rocket is carrying heavier payloads or aims at higher orbits.
You can watch the Falcon 9 launch of the Globalstar FM15 satellite into orbit here.