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SpaceX to launch 64 satellites with a used Falcon 9 rocket: watch live



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Falcon 9 rocket built by SpaceX launches a payload toward

(public domain)

  • SpaceX, the rocket company founded
    by Elon Musk, will try to launch its next space mission on
  • The mission, called SSO-A, aims to send up 64 small
    satellites into orbit on a single Falcon 9 rocket.
  • SpaceX’s live webcast of the launch will
    begin shortly after 1:15 p.m. EST on Wednesday.

SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, is about to make history
by launching more satellites at once from the US than any company
before it.

Around 1:32 p.m. EST on Monday, SpaceX plans to launch a
Falcon 9 rocket
from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Called SSO-A or “SmallSat Express,” the mission aims to send up
one big spacecraft that will deploy 64 small satellites around
Earth in a pole-to-pole orbit.

The satellites range from fist-size to luggage-size, are owned by
34 different organizations, and hail from 18 different countries.
They will monitor Earth’s oceans, study our planet’s changing
climate, and track illegal fishing operations, among other

Read more:
SpaceX is about to rocket a fleet of satellites into space that
will hunt smugglers, pirates, and other ‘dark ships’

The SmallSat Express “ride share” mission was arranged with
SpaceX by a company called Spaceflight Industries.

“To say this is a historic milestone in the history of
Spaceflight and for the commercial small sat industry would be an
understatement,” Curt Blake, Spaceflight’s president, said in
a blog post. “There is no
other mission that has supported so many disparate hopes and
dreams of all sorts of organizations; from from startups to
established businesses, from space agencies to universities, all
of whom need to prove their technologies and business models, to
take their organizations to new heights.”

sso a spacex cubesat micro satellite deployment orbit earth spaceflight industries
An illustration of the
SSO-A payload deploying CubeSats and micro


The SSO-A mission has been delayed multiple times since its
original November launch date due to bad weather and last-minute
inspections. However, the big moment appears to finally be here.

“SmallSat Express went vertical last night on SpaceX’s California
launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base,” SpaceX tweeted on Monday. “Vehicle and
weather are go ahead of today’s launch window.”

The rocket that SmallSat Express will use isn’t any ordinary
vehicle: It’s the latest version of SpaceX’s workhorse launcher,

called Falcon 9 Block 5
. The rocket’s lower section, or
booster, has already been launched and recovered twice in the

Boosters typically crash into the ocean and are never seen again,
yet they can
cost tens of millions of dollars a piece
. But Monday’s launch
would mark the third time SpaceX has used the same booster — a
record for the company. That makes the mission a prime
demonstration of reusable, cost-saving rocket technology. 

Watch SpaceX launch 64 satellites at once

SpaceX broadcasts every one of its launches live on YouTube.

Their feed (below) should start around 1:15 p.m. EST. Lift-off of
the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SSO-A mission to orbit is
expected around 1:32 p.m. EST.

If the player above does not work for any reason, you can try to
watch it directly on YouTube or through SpaceX’s website.

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