SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 2 German military satellites
A German military mission sent two radar reconnaissance satellites into space via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Sunday (Dec. 24).
The SARah-2 mission was launched to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by the Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 8:11 a.m. EST (1311 GMT; 5:11 a.m. local California time). Although the flight was originally scheduled for Saturday (Dec. 23), it was postponed for a day to carry out additional preflight checks.
The German military launched two synthetic aperture radar reconnaissance satellites (SARah-2 mission) to replace the aging SAR-Lupe constellation.
SARah 2 and SARah 3 are two reflector antenna satellites that will fly in formation with SARah 1 to improve the resolution of the constellation.
SARAH-2 was the eighth launch for the Falcon 9’s first stage, according to SpaceX. The booster also successfully landed at Vandenberg about eight minutes after the launch.
Sarah 2 and Sarah 3 were scheduled to deploy into Low Earth Orbit from the Falcon 9’s upper stage 20 and 25 minutes after liftoff, respectively
Sunday’s SpaceX launch marked the 94th orbital mission this year. Two previous Starship test flights failed to reach orbit.
SpaceX’s powerful Falcon Heavy rocket is scheduled to launch the U.S. Space Force’s X-37B space plane to orbit on December 28th.