Space X succesfully lunched its two-stage Falcon 9, carrying 105 small satellites, into the orbit on Thursday. About nine minutes after the lift off, the first stage returned to the landing pad just miles away from where it launched.
The Falcon 9, Space X’s second rocket launch of 2022, lifted off at 10:25 AM EST (1525 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
“Stage 1 landing is confirmed,” SpaceX officials said on the launch broadcast, as soon as the rocket landed.
“As you heard, the Falcon 9 has landed for the 10th time. This marks our 102nd overall recovery,” SpaceX reliability engineering manager Kate Tice said.
The mission is called the Transporter-3. It was Elon Musk-led Space X’s third dedicated rideshare mission that is intended to give modest payloads affordable access to space. The 105 sattellites’ deployment began an hour after launch. The orbiting sattellites are expected to scan Earth on a daily basis.
The mission marked the 10th successful flight and landing of a first-stage booster with a designation B1058, which first entered service in May 2020. Then it had launched two NASA astronauts — Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Demo-2 Crew Dragon mission.
Space X followed their first flight with a booster that has carried five different groups of Starlink internet satellites to orbit. The Transporter-1 mission took place in January 2021.