SpaceX created a unique world record of launching 143 satellites on a single vehicle on Sunday night. The firm broke the record previously held by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which launched 104 satellites in 2017.
The US-based space company launched 143 satellites through its Falcon 9 rocket. The rocket took off at 10AT EST on Sunday from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch was originally slotted for the previous day, but there was a delay because of bad weather conditions.
This was SpaceX’s first mission that had payloads from multiple customers onboard. Its smallsat rideshare program offers companies prices as low as $1 million for the first 200 kg— additional cargo costs $5,000 per kg.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 24, 2021
Satellites from Earth imaging company Planet Labs, satellite communication startup Kepler, and IoT connectivity firm Swarm were part of this launch. SpaceX also had 10 of its own Starlink satellites that will eventually provide internet services to remote areas of the planet.
A lot of space agencies are vying to be in the smallsat market, which is estimated to reach $9.75 billion by 2027. SpaceX’s record launch will give it a leg up against its rival.