SpaceX launched a batch of 143 satellites to space from Florida on Sunday morning. It is under the company’s new cost-cutting Rideshare Program, breaking the record.
- SpaceX launches 143 satellites on a single rocket from Florida.
- Falcon 9 breaks all the world space record.
- SpaceX’s Transporter-1 mission was the first in the new rideshare program that SpaceX announced in 2019.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried 143 satellites into orbit on a jam-packed rideshare mission on Sunday. It breaks all the record for the most satellites lofted into space on a single launch.
The previous record for the most satellites sent to space in one trip was held by PSLV, an Indian rocket. It carried 104 satellites in a 2017 launch.
It is the first mission of its “SmallSat Rideshare” program called Transporter-1. The program offers cheap access to space for small satellite companies starting at $1 million for the first 485 pounds.
Much like a rideshare Uber, a company’s small satellite can hitch a ride to space. with other spacecraft instead of buying an entire rocket at a much higher price.
“A fairly reliable ‘bus route’ is available,” Smith said of SpaceX.“whereas I suppose one might compare companies like Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit as on-call taxies. that get your satellite where you want it ASAP.”
Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Sunday morning at 10 a.m. from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station here in Florida.
It is the first dedicated mission for SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program. It enables small-satellite customers to book a ride to orbit with SpaceX directly.
The 143 satellites launched on Sunday included commercial and government CubeSats. microsats, what are known as orbiter transfer vehicles, and 10 Starlink satellites.
Among these 143 satellites, 48 Earth-imaging satellites dubbed SuperDoves from Planet, 17 tiny communications satellites for Toronto-based Kepler, and 30 small satellites for the US and Europe packaged by Berlin, Germany-based Exolaunch.
According to data compiled by Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer, and expert satellite tracker:
“In the past 16 days, SpaceX has launched more satellites to space than the entire world launched in any year before 2013”.
The Transporter-1 mission got delayed 24 hours due to poor weather conditions at the launch site.
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