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Jun 13, 2019

SpaceX Falcon 9 bids temporary goodbye to West Coast in launch & landing photos

Posted by in category: satellites

SpaceX has completed its last California Falcon 9 launch of 2019 and the company’s official pictures of the mission are unexpectedly spectacular considering the near-zero visibility incurred by coastal fog.

Lifting off on June 12th, Falcon 9 successfully delivered the Canadian Space Agency’s Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM) – likely weighing ~5000 kg (11,000 lb) – to a 600 km (370 mi) sun-synchronous orbit (SSO). Made up of three separate Earth observation satellites, RCM has a combined value greater than $1 billion and has thus become the single most expensive payload – perhaps by as much as a factor of two – SpaceX has ever launched. Although disappointing, RCM made for a spectacular temporary finale to SpaceX’s West Coast launch activity, likely the company’s last Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) mission for at least 6–9 months.

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