SpaceX She has some nice before and after photos for the 10th launch of one of her Falcon 9 rockets, thanks to a satisfied customer.
A Falcon 9 successfully 105 satellites were delivered into orbit Thursday (January 13), including 44 “SuperDove” cubes for Planet, the San Francisco-based company that operates the world’s largest collection of Earth observation satellites.
The mission, called Transporter-3, was the tenth launch of the first stage of Falcon 9 – and its tenth landing, as well. About nine minutes after take off from Florida Cape Canaveral Space Station, the booster reached a soft landing a few miles from the launch pad, at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1.
Related: Pictures of Earth from space by the planet’s moons
And just for fun – Planet SkySat captured a video today of the first phase of @SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster back on Earth after its 10th flight into space! pic.twitter.com/IWr1UQdLyzJanuary 14, 2022
Planet was able to capture images from space of the Falcon 9 before and after the flight using SkySats, a spacecraft the size of a small refrigerator capable of resolving features as small as 20 inches (50 cm) on Earth’s surface. (SuperDoves have a resolution of about 10 feet, or 3 meters, per pixel.)
A single SkySat image shows a Transporter 3 Falcon 9 standing at attention at Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral on Wednesday (January 12), a day before liftoff. And Thursday is a planet Posted on Twitter SkySat video of the first stage of Falcon 9 shortly after it touched down at Landing Zone 1.
Transporter-3 said the total number of Planet satellites launched over the years has reached more than 500. Another tweet on Thursday.
Many of those spacecraft have been lifted by SpaceX.
“We had the pleasure to launch again with SpaceX, which has now brought a total of 127 Planet satellites across across eight launches,” Planet Founder and CEO Will Marshall Wrote in a blog post on Thursday. “This marks our first launch with SpaceX under the new multi-year, multi-launch flight-sharing agreement.” Signed in 2021. “
Marshall added that the newly launched 44 Super Dove join an existing fleet of about 200 of the planet’s satellites.
Mike Wall is the author of “AbroadBook (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed or on Facebook social networking site.