Following a disappointing ‘No Go’ yesterday, June 29, for the launch of the Transporter-2 mission, today’s launch attempt by SpaceX (June 30, 2021) experienced the exact opposite result… success! This day, the weather was cooperating and the downrange indicators were all clear, unlike yesterday’s (June 29) incursion into this zone by an aircraft that caused a halt to the launch proceedings.
Although the 88 commercial and government payloads within the 70-meter tall, Falcon 9 launch vehicle’s, 17-feet in diameter fairing — it’s third flight — for this Transporter-2 mission is not quite the same number as the 144 smallsats SpaceX launched by the company on January 24, 2021, what makes this a unique, historic launch for the company is that, this time around, SpaceX is pushing more mass to orbit for the firm’s customers than their previous Transporter-1 mission.
Liftoff occurred from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on schedule, with this Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously having supported the launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 03, Turksat 5A and five Starlink missions.
Then quite a feat occurred, as three Merlin engines engaged in burns to reduce speed of the 1st stage for landing… at Cape Canaveral and not out in the Atlantic Ocean aboard one of the firm’s droneships. Quite an amazing site watching the first stage accurately land in the exact, defined spot for its return.
The payloads for the Transporter-2 mission included (not in order of deployment)…
- Capella SAR satellite
- D-Orbit’s ION satellite carrier
- DARPA/Space Development Agency/Air Force Research Laboratory’s Mandrake-2 Able + Mandrake-2 Baker
- ICEYE satellite #1 from EXOPort-5
- ICEYE satellite #2 + #4 from EXOPort-3
- ICEYE satellite #3 from EXOPort-4
- Loft Orbital’s YAM-2 + YAM-3 (EXOPort-5)
- NanoAvionics’ D2/AtlaCom-1 from EXOPort-3
- NASA’s PACE-1
- NASA’s TROPICS Pathfinder deploys
- PlanetiQ’s GNOMES-2
- Satellogic’s NewSat-19, 20, 21, 22
- Space Development Agency/General Atomics/Peraton’s LINCS-1 + LINCS-2
- Spaceflight Inc.’s Sherpa-FX2 + LTE-1
- Spire’s LEMUR #1 + #2 from EXOPort-3
- Starlink Smallsats
- Swarm’s 1st + 2nd SpaceBEE cluster from EXOPort-4
- TU Berlin’s TUBIN from EXOPort-4