SpaceX launches its inaugural Bandwagon rideshare mission

SpaceX launched its first Bandwagon rideshare mission on Sunday, sending eleven payloads to orbit. The mission took place at Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center to send the satellites to a mid-inclination orbit. This is the second type of rideshare offered by SpaceX, which has been launching the Transporter rideshare missions that launch into a Sun-synchronous orbit.

The Bandwagon missions will give customers a chance to launch into a more favorable orbit that gives their satellites more time over their desired coverage areas. The satellites that were launched include Capella Space’s Acadia-4, HawkEye 360’s Clusters 8 & 9 (6 satellites), iQPS’s QPS-SAR No. 7, Korea’s 425SAT, Tyvak International’s Centauri-6, and Tata Advanced Systems Limited’s TSAT-1A.

Companies such as Capella Space, HawkEye 360, and iQPS, which previously launched their satellites on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket, can now deploy their constellations at a faster rate with SpaceX offering rideshare to their desired orbits. The Falcon 9 that launched this mission was Booster 1073, which completed its 14th mission. Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on Landing Zone 1, marking the 14th launch and landing for this first stage booster.

SpaceX is also hoping to recover the fairings from this mission with recovery vessel Doug, which was already out to sea for the Starlink 6-47 mission a few days earlier. This mission marked SpaceX’s 35th mission of the year, continuing with its high flight cadence and goal of 140 launches. SpaceX’s next mission will be a Starlink mission from Florida, planned for no earlier than midnight local time on Wednesday.

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