SpaceX Mission Deploys Record Number of Satellites

SpaceX added another mission to the record books over the weekend when it put the highest number of satellites into orbit in a single rocket launch.

The privately owned space transportation company deployed a total of 143 satellites as part of its Smallsat Rideshare program on a mission to launch Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday, January 24 at 10 a.m. CET , left.

Take off! pic.twitter.com/js3zVM77rH

– SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 24, 2021

Specifically, the Transporter-1 mission put 133 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, Microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles) and 10 Starlink satellites into orbit for SpaceX’s Internet-from-Space initiative. The company also found that the 10 Starlink satellites were the first in their rapidly growing constellation to enter polar orbit.

As usual, the first stage booster that has completed a number of other SpaceX missions including the historic crewed first flight test flight of the Crew Dragon capsule last summer, the ANASIS II mission, a Starlink mission and a replenishment mission for the International Space Station – returned safely to Earth and landed on the “Of course I still love you” drone ship that was waiting in the Atlantic.

SpaceX posted a video of the landing even though the feed was disappointingly choppy.

The first leg of Falcon 9 landed on the drone ship Pic.twitter.com/6gWWlLiXdG

– SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 24, 2021

Check out this incredible footage for a better view of one of his missiles that landed on a previous mission.

Before the start on Sunday, which was delayed by a day due to the poor weather conditions, SpaceX boss Elon Musk tweeted: “Tomorrow, many small satellites will be launched for a large number of customers. We’re excited to offer small businesses affordable access to Orbit! “

SpaceX began taking bookings for its rocket-based ride-sharing business beginning in 2020, offering opportunities to deploy small satellites for just $ 1 million – a fraction of the tens of millions of dollars a company might have to pay if it books a full launch.

The small satellite ridesharing market is growing rapidly, and other private companies such as California-based Rocket Lab and, more recently, Virgin Orbit are competing for customers.

SpaceX has its fingers in a number of pies, however, and attention is now turning to the second high-altitude test of its next-generation spacecraft and second stage booster, Starship, which could take place this week. The first test in December 2020 went according to plan until the missile landed heavily and exploded in a ball of flame.

The aim is to use the spaceship and the super heavy rocket of the first stage to create a heavy-duty vehicle for transporting cargo and passengers to the moon and finally to Mars.

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