SpaceX Transporter-3 Mission To Launch 105 Satellites Today And You Can Watch Live
SpaceX has taken delivery services to the next level. A SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket will launch the Transporter-3 mission today. This is SpaceX’s "third dedicated rideshare mission." It has 105 satellites on board from consumers in twenty different nations, including CubeSats, microsats, PocketQubes, and orbital transfer vehicles. Here is how you can watch the SpaceX launch of Transporter-3 live.
Transporter-3 will launch from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida today, January 13th, at 10:25am EST. The first stage booster will land on Landing Zone 1 back at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station roughly nine minutes after launch. Residents have been warned that they may hear one or more sonic booms, but this will largely depend on weather conditions.
Coverage of the launch will begin around 15 minutes before launch, around 10:10am EST. There will be a twenty-nine minute window during which the rocket can take off. There is another launch window on Friday, January 14th during the same time if needed. Space Launch Delta 45 forecasters noted, "The bulk of any precipitation and cloud cover still looks to transit east of the spaceport by the primary launch opportunity Thursday morning though the mid-level clouds may be harder to scour out." The main weather concerns this morning are cumulus and thick clouds, but so far the launch is a go.
The launch will be live streamed via SpaceX’s YouTube channel (we've embedded the feed above) and on SpaceX’s website. This will be SpaceX’s second mission of 2022 and the first time one of its boosters has made a return to launch site (RTLS) landing since June 2021. This will be SpaceX’s 21st RTLS landing and 102nd landing overall of a first stage booster.
SpaceX's first rideshare mission occurred in 2018 when it transported 60 small satellites. The mission was a success so the company decided to launch its SmallSat RideShare Program. Transporter-1 launched last January with 143 spacecraft on board, while Transporter-2 launched in June 2021 with 84 spacecraft. Companies and other institutions can reserve a spot on SpaceX’s website starting at $1 million USD for 200kg to sun-synchronous orbit (SSO). The launches occur roughly every four months.
Image courtesy of SpaceX