SpaceX is planning a space shuttle with its Falcon 9 rocket. The third of its kind. On board 105 spacecraft.
The launch in a nutshell
- What ? SpaceX’s Third Shared Flight;
- When? 13 January 2022, at 16:25 (French time);
- Where ? In Florida;
- What will we see? Puts 105 spacecraft into orbit.
What is the mission?
SpaceX organizes a “shared flight”, that is, a kind of space car sharing, which allows several companies to come together to afford a flight that they could not afford alone, because it costs too much or because it is not worth it relative to the cost of the satellite to be launched or the challenge of its mission.
For this mission, the third of its kind operated by SpaceX, the Falcon 9 rocket will have a lot of people on board: there are actually no less than 105 spacecraft, a record in the genre. These are of course small units, given the reduced space in the launch of the launcher: they are cubesats, microsats or even pocketqubes.
Among these 105 machines, in particular, there are 44 SuperDove satellites that will join the Planet constellation that is being set up. This is devoted to Earth observation and with this launch will have more than 240 satellites in orbit (SpaceX has already launched 83 on its side during seven launches). Others will occur in 2025.
As for SpaceX, the first stage of the rocket, which will be mobilized today, has already been used for five Starlink missions, but also for the Demo-2 manned flight and the Anasis-II, CRS-21 missions (resupply of the International Space Station) and the first ever space travel mission, Transporter-1. Of course, SpaceX plans to recover the launch vehicle’s first stage after launch.
Launch of the Transporter-3 mission is scheduled for January 13, 2022 at 10.25am local time or 4.25pm on the French mainland. If necessary, SpaceX has an alternate launch window available the next day, January 14, 2022, at the same time. Take-off is from the Cape Canaveral, Florida launch base on the east coast of the United States.
Here’s how to follow the launch live
The launch will be streamed on SpaceX’s official website and on its YouTube channel. The video is available below: