SpaceX has just completed three launches in 36 hours

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched Germany’s SARah 1 military image satellite into orbit on 18 June.
Photo: SpaceX

It was a busy weekend for SpaceX, with the private space company launching three of its Falcon 9 rockets into orbit over a period of three days. SpaceX’s final launch may even have carried a classified government payload in addition to launching an extra satellite for too low Earth track operator Globalstar.

Back to back is launched kicked off Friday from Kennedy Space Center launch complex 39A, where a Falcon 9 rocket carried 53 StarLink satellites to take off as part of the company’s growing broadband internet mega constellation. The rocket’s first stage booster set a new record for SpaceX, marking the 13th flight and landing for the reusable booster.

Next day, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched a radar image satellite for the German military. SaRah-1, built by Airbus, launched from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California to replace the existing SAR-Lupe system. The satellite is designed to deliver images of the earth’s surface at any time of the day, regardless of weather conditions.

On Sunday, SpaceX took its final launch of the weekend. Its third Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The company identified one payload on the rocket, Globalstar FM15, a backup satellite for the telephone and low-speed data communications company Globalstar.

However, several reports suggest that this lone satellite was not the only one that took a trip too low Earth bane. Those who observed the launch and deployment of the Globalstar payload noticed that the rocket was sporty three unusual burns and the country on the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship, which is used when the rocket carries heavier payloads, even if the Globalstar payload would be light enough to land back on the launch pad, according to SpaceNews.

In addition, SpaceX provided one video of the payload deployment to the runway, which showed that it had deployed almost two hours after the lift. The video showed what may have been one payload adapter on the second stage of the rocket, which indicates that the rocket may have placed a different payload after the first firing. The mysterious circumstances gave credibility rumours suggests that SpaceX had launched a US-classified government payload. SpaceX has not confirmed the second payload and did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

Sunday’s launch marked SpaceX’s 26th launch in 2022, and the company plans to go even bigger for the rest of the year. After passed an environmental assessment by the Federal Aviation Administration for a proposed expansion of the site in Boca Chica, Texas, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced it Heavy Rocket Starship would be ready for its first orbital launch in July. Musk hopes that Starship will transport the company’s next generation StarLink satellites in orbit, which has some astronomers worried about their potential interference in observations of the cosmos. SpaceX has also recently fired several employees due to criticism of Musk’s behavior.