SpaceX is preparing to launch its Transporter-9 mission today (November 11), a “ride-sharing” flight that will carry 90 payloads to orbit.
A Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California today during a 55-minute window that opens at 1:49 PM EDT (1849 GMT; 10:49 AM local California time), to launch the Transporter-9 mission.
You can watch it live via SpaceX’s X account (formerly known as Twitter). Coverage is expected to begin approximately five minutes before takeoff.
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If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9 first stage will return to Earth for a vertical landing at Vandenberg about 7.5 minutes after liftoff. This will be the 12th launch and landing of this particular booster, according to A SpaceX mission description.
The mission carries 90 payloads for a variety of different customers, “including cubesats, microsatellites, and orbital transfer vehicles carrying spacecraft that will be deployed at a later date,” the mission description says.
These payloads will be deployed into low Earth orbit between 54 and 85.5 minutes after liftoff, according to the mission description.
Ninety is certainly a huge number, but it’s nowhere near the record. SpaceX’s Transporter-1 mission carries the mark, sending 143 satellites into orbit in January 2021. Transporter-6, which launched last January, was also more prolific, carrying 114 satellites aloft.
Transporter-9 will be SpaceX’s 82nd orbital mission in 2023, extending the company’s record by one year. (The previous number, 61 launches, was set for 2022.) Most of this year’s missions are dedicated to building Starlink, SpaceX’s massive Internet constellation, which currently consists of More than 5,000 operational satellites.
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