SpaceX launches weather satellite for the Department of Defense

B1082 launches the Weather System Follow-on - Microwave satellite (Credit SpaceX)

SpaceX successfully launched a new-generation weather satellite for the Department of Defense on Thursday, April 11th, from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The Falcon 9 launched from Space Launch Complex 4 East at 7:25 a.m. PT to complete the USSF-62 mission. The payload on board was the Weather System Follow-on – Microwave (WSF-M1) satellite.

WSF-M1, built by BAE Systems, will primarily focus on providing real-time data on ocean surface winds, tropical cyclone intensity, and low Earth orbit solar weather. The satellite will also be capable of monitoring sea ice, snow depths, and soil moisture to provide valuable data for the U.S. military and its allies.

The satellite was launched into a Sun-synchronous orbit and deployed just before the mission hit the 55-minute mark.

The Falcon 9 that launched this mission was Booster 1082, which flew only its 3rd mission to date, last flying 56 days prior to this mission. The other two missions were Starlink launches, both from California.

Following its portion of the flight, B1082 flipped around and proceeded to head back to Landing Zone 4 and a smooth touchdown just 7 minutes and 53 seconds after taking off. This mission also marked the first time the fairings were flight-proven on a national security launch. These fairings last flew on the Falcon Heavy and the USSF-52 mission in December 2023.

This launch marked the 37th mission of the year and the 6th of the month for the company, which continues to launch at an incredible pace.

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SpaceX launches weather satellite for the Department of Defense
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