SpaceX launches first planned Transporter rideshare mission of 2022 carrying over 100 satellites

by | Jan 20, 2022 | commercial launch services, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

The SpaceX Transporter-3 rideshare mission launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 1525 GMT, 13 January carrying over 100 satellites. The launch was targeted to deliver its payloads into a circa~ 525 km, sun-synchronous LEO (inclined at 97.6 degrees). The mission utilised a Falcon 9 rocket. Its second-stage reached the target orbit at nearly one hour after launched and from there conducted a deployment sequence with lasted for almost 30 minutes.

During the sequence all carried payloads were deployed however. several satellites are still contained within their Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV). This carrier satellite from Italian company D-Orbit, called ION SCV 4, is expected to conduct its own deployments in the coming days and weeks. The Transporter-3 mission was initially expected to carry additional OTVs from American launch arranger Spaceflight Inc however, these were removed from the mission in December after a leak was detected in one of the units propulsion systems.

The rocket lifts-off from the launch site with its collection of payloads. Courtesy of SpaceX

 

Due to the lighter than average load – when compared to a traditional GEO launch – the first-stage was able land back at Cape Canaveral. This RTLS (Return to Launch Site) landing occurred at circa T+8 mins 30 seconds at the specially built Landing Zone 1. This marked the tenth launch and landing for this particular stage, identified as B1058.

Four mystery payloads were on this flight. . The  “mystery” US satellites were codenamed: USA 320, USA 321, USA 322, and USA 323.

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