Intelsat 40E & NASA rideshare take flight

April 7, at 12:30 am E.T. from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station

Yesterday SpaceX launched their twenty-third Falcon 9 of the year with the Intelsat 40e/TEMPO mission. Lofting these payloads into a geostationary transfer orbit, the Falcon 9 rocket took flight at 12:30 am E.T. from SLC-40 at the very start of the 119-minute window allowed for the launch.

Intelsat-40E is a high-throughput geostationary communications satellite that will focus on coast-to-coast coverage for customers across North America. Built by Maxar Technologies and based off the company’s 1300 class platform. This satellite weighs about 5440 kilograms and is the fifty-fourth satellite built by Maxar for Intelsat, which is a partnership for more than forty years now.

The secondary payload on the mission is a NASA satellite dubbed TEMPO. This dishwasher sized satellite contains a UV-visible spectrometer built by Ball Aerospace that will measure atmospheric pollution over Norther America. TEMPO stands for Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution, and will allow for the first time, hourly measurements of pollution across the continent during the daytime. This will allow researchers better and more quick access to data and help understand changes to air quality.

Flying the mission for SpaceX was none other than B1076, a now four-time flyer for the company. This first stage first flew back in November of 2022 for the CRS-26 mission, and then went on to fly the OneWeb 16 mission, and most recently the Starlink 6-1 mission a the end of this February.