Hawthorne-based SpaceX Wednesday launched a rocket carrying three satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, then successfully recovered the rocket’s first stage BOOSTER.
The launch through the morning fog of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the RADARSAT Constellation for the Canadian Space Agency was scheduled for 7:17 a.m. and caused a sonic boom along the Central Coast. The three satellites are part of Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation of Earth-observation satellites.
According to the Canadian Space Agency, the satellites will gather data for a variety of uses, primarily for maritime surveillance, disaster management and ecosystem monitoring.
The Falcon 9 first stage flew a mission 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 closer to its goal of narrowing the window between flights.
SpaceX Wednesday recovered the first stage with a controlled landing back at its landing pad at Vandenberg.
The SpaceX rocket will now deploy its payload of three satellites into their target orbits.
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 U.S. Air Force. On board, it’ll have the USAF’s Space Test Program Flight 2, which includes experimental small payloads and some research projects from NASA.
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