SpaceX Launches Weather Satellite for US Department of Defense

SpaceX successfully launched the Weather System Follow-on – Microwave (WSF-M1) satellite for the Department of Defense on Thursday, April 11th. The launch took place at 7:25 a.m. PT from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

This mission, designated USSF-62, marked SpaceX’s 12th National Security Space Launch on a Falcon rocket. WSF-M1, built by BAE Systems, is designed to provide real-time data on ocean surface winds, tropical cyclone intensity, and low Earth orbit solar weather.

It will also monitor sea ice, snow depths, and soil moisture to offer valuable data for the U.S. military and its allies. The satellite was launched into a Sun-synchronous orbit and deployed just before the mission hit the 55-minute mark.

The Falcon 9 booster used for this mission was Booster 1082, making its third flight. After successfully launching the satellite, the booster returned and landed smoothly at Landing Zone 4, just 7 minutes and 53 seconds after liftoff.

This mission also marked the first time that flight-proven fairings were used on a national security launch. These fairings had previously flown on the Falcon Heavy and the USSF-52 mission in December 2023.

This launch was the 37th mission of the year and the 6th of the month for SpaceX, demonstrating the company’s impressive launch cadence.

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