• Thursday, Feb 25, 2021
  • Last Update : 05:14 pm

SpaceX launches record spacecraft in cosmic rideshare program

  • Published at 12:50 pm January 25th, 2021
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the Crew Dragon capsule, is launched carrying four astronauts on the first operational NASA commercial crew mission at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US November 15, 2020. REUTERS

The reusable rocket ferried 133 commercial and government spacecraft and 10 Starlink satellites to space

A veteran rocket from billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company launched 143 spacecraft into space on Sunday, a new record for the most spaceships deployed on a single mission, according to the company.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 10am EST from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. It flew south along the eastern coast of Florida on its way to space, the company said.

The reusable rocket ferried 133 commercial and government spacecraft and 10 Starlink satellites to space - part of the company’s SmallSat Rideshare Program, which provides access to space for small satellite operators seeking a reliable, affordable ride to orbit, according to the company.

SpaceX delayed the launch one day because of unfavourable weather. On January 22 Musk, also chief executive of Tesla Inc, wrote on Twitter: "Launching many small satellites for a wide range of customers tomorrow. Excited about offering low-cost access to orbit for small companies!"

SpaceX has previously launched to orbit more than 800 satellites of the several thousand needed to offer broadband internet globally, a $10 billion investment it estimates could generate $30 billion annually to help fund Musk's interplanetary rocket program, called Starship.

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