In pictures: SpaceX’s Transporter-3 Mission

JAN. 13, 2022—Earlier this morning, SpaceX launched the Transporter-3 mission, carrying 105 payloads to a polar orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The mission flew a rare profile—with Falcon 9 flying to a polar orbit and its booster returning to the launch site, offering unique views of the launch vehicle’s ascent.

Image: Falcon 9 stands tall at SLC-40 a day before launch during media setup. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: A close-up view of Falcon 9’s second stage (serial no. 154) and the fairing surrounding the Transporter-3 payloads. Over a hundred satellites and transfer vehicles are encapsulated within the fairing – all were deployed by about an hour after launch. Credit: Derek Newsome / Space Scout

Image: Falcon 9 booster B1058 waiting on launch day at SLC-40. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: Falcon 9 fueling well underway ahead of the liftoff of Transporter-3. Superchilled liquid oxygen and kerosene fuel fill the rocket’s tanks in the 35 minutes leading up to launch. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: Liftoff! Transporter-3 lifted off at 10:25 a.m. ET (15:25 UTC) from SLC-40. Credit: Derek Newsome / Space Scout

Image: A close-up remote shot of liftoff from the SLC-40 pad perimeter. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: Falcon 9 clears the transporter-erector at SLC-40. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: Falcon 9 during powered first stage flight. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: A close-up of Falcon 9’s first-stage engines from SLC-40. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: Shockwaves radiate from Falcon 9 during ascent as it passes in front of the Sun. Credit: Ben Cooper / SpaceX

Image: Falcon 9’s first stage separates from the second stage and begins its boost-back burn at about two and a half minutes into flight. Image credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: Falcon 9 booster B1058 relights a single Merlin engine during final approach to Landing Zone 1. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: Falcon 9’s first stage passes in front of clouds and through its own plume during its descent to LZ-1. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Image: Falcon 9 deploys its landing legs immediately before touchdown at LZ-1. Credit: An Tran / Space Scout

Tweet: Booster 1058 lands successfully at LZ-1, marking the tenth landing for that stage. Credit: SpaceX

Image: Falcon 9 B1058.10 lands at LZ-1. Credit: Ben Cooper / SpaceX

The Transporter-3 mission was a success, with all 105 payloads deployed and booster B1058 safely recovered for the tenth time.

Space Scout photographers An Tran (@the_space_nut) and Derek Newsome (@derekdotspace) captured a majority of the photos shown. To support their work capturing spaceflight, follow them on Twitter, or buy prints at antphoto.space and derekspace.com.

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