SpaceX launches record batch of satellites in first in-house rideshare mission

SpaceX launched a batch of 143 spacecraft into space from Florida on Sunday morning under the company’s new cost-cutting SmallSat rideshare program, which broke the record for the most satellites in space in a single launch.

Transporter-1 kicks off a potentially lucrative business line for Mission SpaceX, which unveiled its SmallSat rideshare program in 2019, essentially a carpool for dozens of satellites of various shapes and sizes. The program provides relatively inexpensive access to space for small satellite companies starting at $ 1 million for the first 485 pounds.

Like Rideshare Uber, a company’s small satellite can intercept space rides with other spacecraft rather than buy whole rockets at very high prices.

After investigating an initial launch attempt on Saturday due to inclement weather, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket was lifted 24 hours later from the launch pad of its Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 10AM ET, a 326 showbox-size Sending a mixture of BOXAT and very heavy microsatelite. -Mile-high polar orbit – an unusual trajectory for a Florida launch site. SpaceX began its first polar mission from Florida in August last year.

This year, SpaceX’s third, Launch, marks the most satellites carried into space on a rocket, a record that was launched by an Indian satellite in 2017, with 104 satellites. The 143 spacecraft aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 include 48 Earth imaging satellites, superdoves from the planet, 17 smaller communications satellites from Toronto-based Kepler for dubbing, and 30 smaller satellites for the US and Europe in Berlin, Germany-based Exolanche.

Also on board a flight is small capsules of human ashes arranged by the spacecraft Memorial Company Celestis. Ten Starlink satellites are also disrupting a ride, inching SpaceX to the number of active satellites in space and supporting its broadband Internet planetarium.

Pentagon’s R&D agency DARPA pulled out of the rideshare mission earlier this month after it damaged two of its 187-pound satellites during launch processing in Cape Canaveral.

The SpaceX-1 mission, just four days after SpaceX launched 60 of its StarLink satellites into space, as a notable event in the race for SpaceX, OneWeb and other companies to build giant constellations of internet-beaming. have set. Satellite. In the last 16 days, SpaceX has launched more satellites into space than the entire world in any year before 2013, according to data compiled by Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer and expert satellite tracker.

Rideshare missions on large rockets grow with smaller rockets adapted for dedicated small satellite launches, with increased competition from companies such as Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit, for increased demand for cheaper launch services from smaller satellite companies.

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