Published: Mon, January 25, 2021
Science | By

SpaceX rocket sends a record number of satellites into space

SpaceX rocket sends a record number of satellites into space

Previous launches with multiple spacecraft include 104 satellites that were launched by the PSLV-C37 during India's PSLV program in 2017, and Russia's Dnepr rocket, which carried 37 satellites in 2014.

The team continued with the countdown until T-30 seconds for data collection, according to SpaceX.

The missile took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 10:00 a.m., 24 hours after the original scheduled flight had been delayed due to bad weather.

A Falcon 9 rocket launches SpaceX's Starlink to orbit.

Almost a fortnight after Elon Musk's Tesla entered India on January 8, his SpaceX on Sunday night broke a world space record by launching 143 satellites in quick succession, beating India's record of deploying 104 satellites in February 2017.

The mission, dubbed Transporter-1, carried 10 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink internet network, and more than 130 satellites for a variety of customers including Planet, which operates a constellation of Earth-imaging satellites, and ICEYE, which develops small radar satellites for monitoring ice and tracking floods.

Pre-yeet ft. Tesla
Pre-yeet ft. Tesla

Adverse weather conditions were effective for the Transporter-1 mission, which was planned to be launched last day.

Once it had reached the required altitude, the first stage was separated and flipped in preparation for its descent back to Earth, where it landed on SpaceX's Of Course I Still Love You droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Typically, smallsats reach orbit by tagging along with larger, more expensive satellites, and the waiting list can be long and unpredictable. SpaceX is now taking reservations for small satellites on future launches at the comparatively bargain price of $1 million per spot.

The SpaceX launch is part of the private aerospace company's "ride-share" program, where other companies and governments can pay SpaceX to deliver their technology to space.

While increasingly unlikely, that speedy turnaround is necessary to support SpaceX's second Starlink launch of 2021 - now scheduled no earlier than January 29th.


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