On January 24, 2021, SpaceX successfully created a New World Record by launching 143 Satellites in a single mission. The satellites were launched using the Falcon 9 Reusable rockets from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States of America. With this, SpaceX bettered Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) record of deploying 104 satellites in a single mission in February 2017.
The Launch is also the first dedicated mission for SpaceX under SmallSat ‘Rideshare’ program called Transporter-1.
i.Objective – With the launch of the satellites, SpaceX is planning to provide Global broadband internet coverage by 2021.
- Out of 143 satellites – 133 were Commercial & Government CubeSats, microstats and 10 were Starlink satellites.
- They catered to the fields of Earth-imaging (48 satellites), Communications (17) & 30 for United States & Europe by Germany-base Exolaunch.
- The ‘Rideshare’ programme aims to offer cheap access to space for small satellite companies(i.e. $15,000 per kilogram for each satellite to be delivered to the polar sun-synchronous orbit )
- The starlink satellites are also the 1st in the constellation to be deployed to a plat orbit.
ii.Notable satellites launched in the mission:
- 3 small CubeSats – Part of NASA’s V-Rx3 Mission for testing new technologies for enhancing spacecraft communication & navigation
- 3 Hawk-2 Satellites – For the purpose of monitoring and locating emergency beacons (wireless transmitters) for improving response during emergencies.
- YUSAT & IDEASat – for mapping of Earth’s Ionosphere.
- It is the World’s 1st Orbital-class reusable rocket, which in turn helps in reduction of costs for space programs.
Note – India has listed the building of reusable rockets as one of its targets of the Decade (2021-30).
India’s Record of 104 Satellites:
On February 15, 2017, ISRO launched 104 satellites in one go from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
- They were launched on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Recent Related News:
i.On 3rd September 2020, Falcon 9 of SpaceX, launched the 12th batch of starlink missions with 60 starlink satellites into orbit. Falcon 9 was launched from the Kennedy Space Center of NASA, Florida.
Chief Executive Officer – Elon Musk
Headquarters – California, USA