(CTN News) – SpaceX is set to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 13 spacecraft for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Development Agency (SDA) today, August 31.
The launch is scheduled to take place at 10:26 a.m. EDT from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base. You can watch the live coverage on Space.com or directly via SpaceX’s platform, with coverage beginning 15 minutes before liftoff.
This launch marks SpaceX’s second contribution to the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA), a network of satellites in low Earth orbit designed to enhance global military communication and missile warning capabilities. The PWSA consists of a layered constellation that aims to provide crucial indications and tracking functionalities.
Watch SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Launch for Space Development Agency
The current launch is part of the ongoing efforts to establish “Tranche 0,” a demonstration constellation comprising 28 satellites. While most of these satellites are focused on communication, some are specifically designed for missile detection. The term “Tranche 0” indicates that this is just the initial phase of the PWSA’s development.
According to Air and Space Forces Magazine, the Space Force intends to expand the satellite network by deploying hundreds of small satellites over the coming years. These launches will be carried out periodically to enhance the resilience and capabilities of the satellite constellation.
The Falcon 9’s first stage is expected to return for a controlled landing at Vandenberg approximately 7.5 minutes after liftoff. This particular booster has already undergone 13 successful launches and landings prior to this mission.
While specifics about the satellite deployment timeline are scarce due to the sensitive nature of national security missions, the launch itself is a significant step forward in advancing the Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture and enhancing military satellite capabilities.