SpaceX launches Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express carrying 64 payloads to low Earth orbit
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., - On December 3, SpaceX successfully launched Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express to a low Earth orbit from its facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base outside of Lompoc, California. The launch included 64 payloads, the largest ever attempted by the venture. It also marked the first time it had attempted a dedicated mission to deliver a payload to a sun-synchronous low Earth orbit.
SpaceX noted that the 64 spacecraft deployed came from 34 organizations, including universities, startups, government and commercial entities, and even a middle school. A total of 15 microsats and 49 cubesats were delivered to low Earth orbit.
The payloads included technology demonstration, imaging, and educational research satellites from 17 countries, including the United States, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, U.K., Germany, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Poland, Canada, Brazil, and India.
This mission also served as the first time SpaceX launched the same booster a third time. Falcon 9’s first stage for the Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission previously supported the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 mission in May 2018 and the Merah Putih mission in August 2018.
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