A Falcon 9 rocket from the private firm SpaceX took off this Thursday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with more than a hundred small satellites on board, including six from the Spanish firm Fossa Systems and the Argentine miniature satellite “General San Martín”. ”.
The Transporter-3 mission departed at 10:26 a.m. local time (3:26 p.m. GMT) from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and, as planned, about eight minutes later, the Falcon 9 rocket booster returned to a ground platform to its subsequent reuse.
This part of the Falcon 9 had participated before, among others, in the Transporter-1 mission and today’s was the tenth time it was recovered; and overall it was the 102nd recovery of an orbital-class rocket by SpaceX, a firm founded by Elon Musk.
Unlike other times in which the first stage of the Falcon 9 returns to a platform placed over the Atlantic Ocean, today’s was done on land, for which some local media in Cape Canaveral warned of possible “supersonic booms” due to the speed at which the spacecraft landed.
The Transporter-3 mission put a total of 105 small satellites into sun-synchronous orbit for commercial and government clients, including the Argentine Government, which with the “General San Martín”, the first microsatellite it manufactures, will provide Internet access to agricultural producers in areas rural across the country.
In the load of the Falcon 9 there are also six small satellites, the size of a mobile, from the Spanish Fossa System with which they will facilitate IoT (internet of things) connections in the world and that are part of a group of 80 that foresees have operations in 2023.
This company founded in 2020 and headquartered in Madrid wants to have a network of around 80 picosatellites operational by mid-2023 to provide IoT connectivity to low-power devices (sensors) around the planet, including remote areas with little or no mobile coverage .
The firm expects to ship in batches of 25 satellites and with the network it hopes to be able to offer a data collection, monitoring and analysis system with guarantees and available to all types of industries, from power plants, fish farms, agriculture, defense or Marine transport.
SpaceX’s Transporter missions consist of shared trips that allow private and public institutions to assume the approximate cost of more than 50 million dollars involved in putting the cargo into orbit.
This Thursday’s launch is the second of the year after the launch last week from the Kennedy Space Center, also in Florida’s Cape Canaveral, of another batch of almost 50 Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s satellite internet network.