On Jan. 13, a SpaceX Falcon 9 Launched more than 100 smallsats into orbit, accelerating the company’s dedicated rideshare missions. At 10:25 a.m. Eastern, the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launched Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The upper stage entered orbit eight and a half minutes later and deployed its payloads into a 525-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit over the next half-hour after a second burn 55 minutes after liftoff.
The Falcon 9 first stage landed in Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral, marking the first time a Falcon 9 rocket has landed on the ground since the Transporter-2 rideshare mission in June 2021. The booster was on its tenth flight, having Launched for the first time in May 2020 on NASA’s Demo-2 commercial crew mission. Before Transporter-3, it the ANASIS-2 satellite, the CRS-21 cargo mission, Transporter-1, and five Starlink missions.
On Transporter-3, Unseenlabs, a French firm creating a satellite system for maritime domain awareness, Launched BRO-5, its fifth satellite. There were also newbies. OroraTech, a German startup, has the first in a series of cubesats outfitted with thermal infrared cameras to provide early wildfire alerts. The satellite was created in collaboration with Spire.