Historic payload packed with 143 commercial & government satellites on the first SpaceX Falcon 9 Transport 1 ride share mission broke the previous global record of 103 held by India when it launched on Sunday January 24th 2021 from launch complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Florida. This is the 3rd launch for SpaceX in 2021.
The 22 minute launch window opened at 10:00 AM EST or 15:00 UTC with a 70% go for launch weather forecast.
Just a few of the many different companies on board are 48 Earth observing super Dove satellites from Planet Labs, a small nanosatellite called Charlie from Anrora InSight, Exoplanet, D-Orbit, Kepler Communications, Spaceflight Inc., Nano Racks, NASA, Capella Space, iQPS, Loft Oribital, Spire Global, Iceye, Hawkeye 360, Astrocast, University of South Florida Institute of Applied Engineering and SpaceX will also be deploying 10 of its own Starlink satellites in the first ever SSO Sun Synchronous Orbit for their constellation network.
Notable other first is a new southern first stage booster landing zone southwest of Nassau Bahamas north of Cuba and a non propolsive third stage Sherpa-FX tug which will dispense some if it’s customers satellites. It may take 12 waves to deploy all 143 satellites. It is the 73rd Falcon 9 booster landing for SpaceX and the 52nd reflight of a booster. This was the 23rd consecutive booster landing a new company record.
Booster B-1058-5 made its 5th flight and landing. It previously launched Crew Demo 2 with two NASA astronauts Bob Behnken & Doug Hurley to the ISS on May 30th 2020, South Korea’s Anasis II on July 20th 2020, Starlink V1.0 #16 on October 6th 2020 & NASA CRS-21 Cargo Dragon on December 6 2020.
SpaceX had announced back in 2019 there could be 4 dedicated ride share launches a year depenfing on demand with extremely affordable pricing reported at between $15,000 per Kilogram to $1,000,000 for 220 Kilograms or 441 pounds of weight. Demand seems to be high for not only this mission but future ride share launches too.
Article & Photo Credit: Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu & spacenews.es