SpaceX is ready to launch its belated New Year’s fireworks on Tuesday, with a mission to put 114 different satellites into orbit to kick off 2023.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch the company’s epic Transporter-6 mission at 9:56 a.m. EST (1355 GMT) from the Space Force Station at Cape Canaveral in Florida. You can watch the launch live here on Space.com, live streamed to you by EOS Data Analytics (EOSDA).
Mission Transporter-6 will launch EOS SAT-1 for EOSDA on this mission; it is the first of seven satellites in the company’s new constellation focused on agriculture. According to SpaceX’s mission schedule, EOS SAT-1 will be the last of 114 satellites to be deployed during the Transporter-6 mission.
“This launch opens up revolutionary new opportunities for the agricultural industry in satellite technology. EOSDA will now work with proprietary datasets to provide its customers and partners with even deeper and more accurate information,” said Artem Anisimov, CEO of EOSDA.
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The EOS SAT-1 is designed to survey 386,000 miles (1 million square kilometers) daily using 11 lanes of light. This crop health check is expected to enable farmers to better tailor their crop care, reduce carbon emissions, energy and water consumption, and other benefits.
The full EOS SAT fleet, when ready around 2025, will aim to view 4.6 million square miles (12 million square kilometers) daily, about a third more than the equivalent area of the United States. The seven satellites built by Dragonfly Aerospace aim to cover 100 percent of countries “with the largest areas of agricultural and forest land,” EOSDA said in a statement.
(Image credit: EOSDA)
There are other satellite cultures that will also fly into space aboard Transporter-6. For example, Spire Global plans to launch six satellites (will open in a new tab) expand its constellation to monitor maritime and aviation traffic using ADS-B technology.
spaceflight inc. plans to lift four Kleos spacecraft (will open in a new tab) into a sun-synchronous orbit that maintains constant lighting conditions under the fleet. Kleos is investigating radio frequency transmissions from space looking for “hidden and illegal activity,” its website says. (will open in a new tab).
The Transporter series of missions are “specialized rides,” meaning they involve dozens of small satellites flying into space on a single Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX has not confirmed the full Transporter-6 manifest on its website. The first mission of the Transporter 1 series launched a record 143 satellites in January. 24, 2021.
The Falcon 9 rocket for the Transporter-6 has a first stage that makes its 15th flight. SpaceX said the booster had previously launched the SpaceX Transporter-2 mission, three commercial satellite flights, and 10 Starlink satellite missions. If all goes well, the booster should return to the landing site at Space Force Station at Cape Canaveral for a touchdown.
Elizabeth Howell is co-author of Why Am I Taller? (will open in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).