It was the 61st and last launch of the year for the Elon Musk-led company.
The company specializing in astronautics and space flight SpaceX successfully launched an Israeli intelligence satellite into space overnight from Thursday to Friday. It was the 61st and last launch of the year for the American company led by Elon Musk. The launch of the EROS C-3 satellite mission aboard a Falcon 9 rocket took place at the Vandenberg Space Base in California. Shortly after liftoff, the deployment of the satellite was confirmed.
Liftoff took place at 23:38 from the launch site, after which the Falcon 9’s first stage returned to land at a SpaceX launch pad after about 8 minutes of flight.
EROS C-3, short for Earth Resources Observation Satellite C3, is an Earth observation satellite designed to allow “defense and intelligence organizations to conduct operations in complete confidentiality,” according to its manufacturer ImageSat International, based in Israel. According to Spaceflight Now, it would have cost around $186 million (€174 million).
Elon Musk’s company is aiming for a record year in 2023 with no less than 100 launches, primarily the Falcon 9, a pair of Falcon Heavys as well as demonstration flights of the Starship.