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Falcon 9 launches Transporter-4

The SpaceX Rocket take-off with 40 satellites from International partners to Orbit

Credit: SpaceX
Falcon9 / Transporter-4 payload bay

SpaceX is due to launch on April 1 at 16:24 UTC – 12:34 EDT, (with backup opportunities dates from April 02 to 08) its fourth SmallSat Rideshare Program mission – the Transporter-4 in Sun-synchronous orbit – SSO. It is a dedicated SpaceX launch-sharing mission. SpaceX's SmallSat Rideshare program offers small operators frequently scheduled and dedicated Falcon 9 ride-sharing missions in SSO orbit for EELV Secondary Payload Adapter aka ESPA-class payloads for just $1 million per mission, which includes up to 200 kg of payload mass. The Falcon 9 v1.2 FT Block 5 rocket that will launch the mission is the BoosterB1061-7. The launch will take place from the Space Launch Complex SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Meteorology, however, predicts a 30% chance of favorable weather.

Infographic by Space Intelligence and HDE

Falcon 9’s first stage (core) booster previously launched Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, and Starlink G4-7 mission. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the "Just Read the Instructions" droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. And the Payload fairings will be recovered by SpaceX fairing recovery vessel "Bob". The Second Stage will be expended and reenters to earth atmosphere above south-west Indian Ocean.


The 40 payloads are mounted on top of the second rocket stage, and SpaceX shared a photograph of the interior of the fairing that shows the payloads arranged in a special configuration on the adapter with ESPA (Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Port Adapter) ring technology.

ESPA allows dozens of small spacecraft to be connected to the payload adapter to get the most out of a rocket launch in a single mission, as illustrated below. The Payload Host Companies also have the option of using custom ESPA satellite adapters.