SpaceX has conducted its second orbital launch of the year, named Transporter-3. The liftoff occurred at the opening of a 29-minute launch window at 10:25 AM EST (15:25 UTC) on Thursday, January 13, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
This is the third dedicated rideshare mission operated by SpaceX, which delivered 105 satellites to a 525-kilometer altitude Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO).
Making its tenth trip to space, the Falcon 9 booster supporting this mission is B1058-10, having previously supported SpaceX’s first crewed flight (Demo-2), the launch of the ANASIS-II telecommunications satellite, the first resupply mission under the CRS2 contract (CRS-21), SpaceX’s first dedicated rideshare mission (Transporter-1), and five Starlink launches.
After launching on a southbound path along the Florida coast and separating from the second stage, the booster performed a boostback burn, followed by the entry and landing burns to return to Cape Canaveral and land on SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1). The last RTLS landing was the Transporter-2 mission in June of 2021.
On its way to orbit, the second stage performed a “dogleg” maneuver to keep its heading slightly west of due south to reach its desired orbital inclination, while ...