Falcon 9 launches Italian Earth observation satellite1. 2. 2022
SpaceX launched the CSG-2 mission for the Italian Space Agency on January 31 at 6:11 PM EST (23:11 UTC) after four days of delay caused by unfavorable weather at the launch site and a vessel – cruise ship which entered the hazard area led to SpaceX aborting the launch countdown at T-33 seconds.
CSG-2 is a predecessor to CSG-1 which was launched aboard a Soyuz rocket from Kourou, French Guiana in 2019. The satellite will provide X-band synthetic aperture radar imagery and it was designed to operate for at least seven years beating the first generation’s five-year design life. Although a 2,200-kilogram satellite was originally slated to launch on a Vega C, that rocket has yet to perform its first flight now expected in May.
The first stage booster – B1052 supporting this mission flew previously on two Falcon Heavy flights – ArabSat 6A and STP-2 missions as a side booster but was converted to a Falcon 9 first stage booster. It managed to perform RTLS (return to launch site) landing thanks to the relatively low mass of the CSG-2 satellite.