BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – SpaceX targeted Wednesday afternoon to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying small satellites for customers and the cremated remains of 47 people into space.
The 57-minute launch window for the Transporter 5 mission, part of SpaceX’s rideshare program, opened at 2:35 p.m. at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The mission carried microsatellites for commercial and government customers.
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SpaceX said 59 spacecraft took the trip, including CubeSats, microsats, non-deploying hosted payloads and orbital transfer vehicles. The Falcon 9′s flight took it along Florida’s eastern coast over the Atlantic Ocean.
One of the companies that took part in the rideshare mission was Celestis, which sent the cremated remains of 47 individuals attached to a telecommunications satellite. The company said the satellite is expected to orbit for about a decade. Once it’s decommissioned, the contents are expected to burn during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Celestis was created by Charles Chafer in the 1990s and credits space innovations for allowing the company to increase its amount of launches from one flight during a seven-year period to five scheduled launches set to take place within the next 14 months.
Sonic booms were forecast in the area for when the rocket’s booster returned to Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.