LAKE MARY, Fla. - It was a busy Friday for SpaceX as the company executed launches on both coasts.
Early Friday evening, SpaceX launched broadband internet satellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida for telecommunications network provider SES of Luxembourg. A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 5:48 p.m. carrying the O3b mPOWER satellites into medium-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40.
The Florida launch was the second one of the day for SpaceX. Early Friday morning, a satellite designed to measure the height of water in freshwater bodies and the world's oceans launched from California. It is the hope of NASA and the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales that the Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission (SWOT) will provide insights into climate change and how communities can better prepare for natural disasters.
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT), at left and an artist’s concept of the SWOT spacecraft over Florida, at right. The SWOT mission will measure the height of the world’s oceans, rivers, and lakes, helping scientists to measure how fresh a
SpaceX successfully launched the mission at 6:46 a.m. (ET) into low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
SWOT is an internationally developed mission to conduct the first global survey of Earth’s surface water. It was originally scheduled to liftoff on Thursday but was bumped a day.
SpaceX also has a launch planned for Saturday. The space company is hoping to send another batch of Starlink satellites into orbit this weekend from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The launch was originally slated for Friday within an hour of the O3b mPOWER launch.
SpaceX's Starlink is the constellation of networked satellites aimed to provide internet services to those who are not yet connected.