SpaceX’s launch today from California’s Vandenberg Air Force base went off today without a hitch, bringing three satellites that make up the RADARSAT constellation to be used for observation by the Canadian Government.
The launch today included use of a Falcon 9 first stage that flew a mission only a few months ago in March, when it carried SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to orbit during an uncrewed demonstration mission. The first stage was refurbished and reflown, bringing SpaceX yet another step closer to its goal of narrowing the window between flights for its reusable rocketry further still.
SpaceX also recovered the first stage with a controlled landing back at the company’s LZ-4 landing pad at Vandenberg. Which, now that SpaceX has demonstrated its ability to land up to three boosters at once when launching its larger Falcon Heavy orbital rocket.
The SpaceX rocket will now deploy its payload of three satellites into their target orbits, and we’ll update this post with the results of that aspect of the mission once it’s complete.
The next launch on the schedule for SpaceX is another Falcon Heavy launch set for June 24, which will be its third flight and its first for the US Air Force. On board, it’ll have the USAF’s Space Test Program Flight 2 which includes experimental small sat payloads, and also a number of research projects from NASA.