Elon Musk’s SpaceX launched 143 small satellites simultaneously on Sunday, a new world record. The launch was carried out with a reusable Falcon 9 rocket from the space center on Cape Canaveral, Florida. The previous record was 104 satellites launched with an Indian rocket in 2017.
These are 133 commercial and state satellites, including on behalf of the US Space Agency (NASA), as well as ten of its own Starlink telecommunications satellites of SpaceX itself. The company has already launched more than 800 small satellites with the aim of providing broadband internet worldwide.
After the launch, the first part of the rocket landed on the platform of a robotic ship in the Atlantic (called “Of course I still love you!”), to be used again, something that has become routine for Space X. It was the 73rd time the company did such a thing.
It was preceded on January 20 by another launch of a “batch” of Starlink satellites. Launching so many satellites at an altitude of 500 kilometers simultaneously is not an easy task, because everyone must be released into space at a specific time to avoid collisions with each other.
SpaceX launches 143 satellites into space as part of its new satellite rideshare program pic.twitter.com/Y4qylND6Mp
— The Hill (@thehill) January 24, 2021