SpaceX wrapped up 2022 with the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base.
The Falcon 9 took off at 11:38 p.m. Thursday from Space Launch Complex 4E with its ISI EROS C-3 mission to a low-Earth orbit.
This was the 11th launch of this booster, which previously supported the launch of Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, Transporter-4, Transporter-5, Globalstar FM15 and two Starlink missions.
Jessie Anderson, a production engineering manager at SpaceX, discussed the launch during SpaceX’s live and recorded webcast.
The EROS satellite is from ImageSat International, an Israeli-based company specializing in collecting, analyzing and creating space-based intelligence, according to Ms. Anderson.
This was Space X’s 61st and last launch of 2022.
“Today’s payload is part of the EROS new generation … one of the world’s top, intelligence gathering assets in space. Now, to date, three of the seven satellites are fully operational, and the EROS C-3 will be the fourth to orbit,” said Ms. Anderson.
The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket that stands 230 feet tall, which is roughly the height of a 20-story building. While stage 2 continues to orbit, stage 1 returns to Earth and is used again.
The landing Thursday night of the first stage marked the 160th overall successful recovery of an orbital class rocket.
“Falcon 9 launched the @ImageSatIntl EROS C-3 mission to orbit overnight, completing SpaceX’s 61st and final launch of 2022 — nearly double our record of 31 launches set last year,” tweeted SpaceX.