SpaceX plans to launch its second mission for today (June 12), and you can watch the event live.
A Falcon 9 rocket dotted with 72 small satellites is scheduled to lift off from Space Force Base Vandenberg in California at 5:19 p.m. EDT (2119 GMT; 2:19 p.m. local time California), launching a ride-sharing mission called Transporter – 8.
You can watch the launch live here on SpaceX.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly through the company. Coverage is expected to begin 15 minutes before take-off.
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Transporter 8 will be SpaceX’s second mission in about 14 hours. Early this morning, the company launched 52 of its Starlink internet satellites into orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
If all goes according to plan, Transporter 8’s Falcon 9 first stage will return to Earth for a vertical landing at Vandenberg less than eight minutes after liftoff. This will be the ninth launch and landing of this particular booster, SpaceX wrote in a Description of the task.
The upper stage of the rocket will continue to carry 72 payloads upwards, which include “cubes, micropods, a return capsule, and orbital transfer vehicles carrying spacecraft to be deployed at a later date,” according to the mission description.
These satellites are scheduled to spread out from the Falcon 9 upper stage over a 24-minute period beginning an hour after liftoff.
Transporter-8 is the eighth “rideshare” small-satellite mission that SpaceX has launched to date, and the third such flight in 2023. Transporter-6 launched on January 3, sending 114 satellites into orbit, and Transporter-7 51 spacecraft. Overhead on April 15th.
SpaceX’s first dedicated flight-sharing mission holds the record for most satellites launched on a single rocket: Transporter-1 carried 143 satellites into orbit in January 2021.
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