The year 2021 begins on the hats of the wheels for SpaceX. Elon Musk’s company is actually coming beat the record The largest number of satellites were launched simultaneously with their Transporter 1 mission.
It was SpaceX’s third launch this year, just four days after 60 Starlink satellites were launched into orbit. It was a Falcon 9 rocket, previously used for the Demo 2 mission, that launched approximately 143 satellites into space. The previous record was held by India, where a 2017 launch put 104 satellites into orbit.
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The launcher had 48 terrestrial imaging satellites on board developed by the Planet company, 17 very small communications satellites designed by the Kepler company, 30 satellites commissioned by Europe and the United States that were packaged by the Exolaunch company, and finally 10 SpaceX satellites to complete the Starlink constellation. In addition, there were 9 capsules with human ashes on board the Falcon, which were installed on behalf of Celestis, a company specializing in Celestis. Memorial space flights “.
In June 2020 SpaceX carried out its first joint launch with two CubeSats of the satellites Planet and Starlink. However, this marks a new turning point. Indeed, Transporter-1 is the first SpaceX mission conducted under the SmallSat Rideshare program. The latter in particular enables companies to launch small satellites at relatively low prices starting at $ 1 million.
In addition, Starlink will soon have 1,000 devices in its constellation, a critical number for the company in deploying its broadband Internet network worldwide. This launch was therefore of great importance to SpaceX, which was not used to doing launches with such small satellites. Other space companies like Rocket One and Virgin Orbit are also interested in ” spatial carpooling Competitiveness in this space will inevitably lead to lower launch prices. In addition, Amazon or OneWeb plan to overshadow SpaceX by launching their own satellite constellation to provide an Internet network in isolated regions.