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Space Development Agency to launch 10 satellites aboard SpaceX rocket at Vandenberg Space Force Base

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Posted at 5:18 PM, Mar 29, 2023

Another Space-X Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base Thursday morning. This launch will be a mission for the Space Development Agency (SDA).

On Wednesday, SDA officials hosted a briefing to discuss their upcoming series of launches to support the SDA's Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture. They say the satellites they're launching will be used to track international ballistic missiles and quickly relay the observations down to ground military systems here on Earth.

A total of 10 satellites will be included in Thursday's launch, with additional launches expected to take place over the next several years.

"The idea is, these satellites will be able to provide them with tactical, meaning real-time, communications so they can use that to target directly into their weapons platforms," said Derek Tournear, Space Development Agency Director. "Historically, they have only been able to do that over short ranges, but the Space Development Agency’s architecture will enable that to work globally."

Thursday's launch is scheduled to take place at 7:29 a.m.

Following stage separation, about eight minutes after liftoff, SpaceX will aim to land the rocket's first stage booster on land at Vandenberg Space Force Base. SpaceX officials say this could result in a sonic boom audible to people in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties.

A live webcast of the launch is scheduled to begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff.

The next SDA satellite launch will take place in June.