Hisdesat, the Spanish government satellite services company, has signed an agreement with U.S. company SpaceX to launch the Earth Observation Radar satellite, PAZ, on board a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch is targeted to take place during the last quarter of 2017, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The numerous successes of Falcon 9 have been a driving factor for the election of Hisdesat to launch on board this rocket, which already has the confidence of other great companies.
Documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission indicate that ground stations will be housed at SpaceX facilities in Redmond and Brewster, Wash., as well as at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., and facilities in McGregor and Brownsville in Texas. Another ground station is to be placed at Tesla’s headquarters in Fremont, Calif., which Musk heads as CEO.SpaceX says it will also be testing satellite communications with receiving terminals built into mobile vans.
SpaceX has kept mum about many of the details relating to Starlink. Outside observers have had to piece together most of the information from required government filings and from insider forums such as NASASpaceflight.com and Reddit r/SpaceX.
With the one-day delay to Sunday, launch of Paz + Microsats moves a minute earlier to 6:16am PST (9:16am EST; 1416 GMT).