Space X launches a world record number of satellites
On 24 January 2021, Space X set a new world record with the largest number of satellites launched in one mission.
During the first 'Transporter 1' Rideshare mission of Space X, a variety of satellites including earth imaging satellites and communication spacecrafts were deployed with the Falcon rocket. The rocket launch took place at Cape Canaveral in Florida/USA.
During the launch, 143 satellites were sent into space. 10 of these satellites were Space X's own Starlink satellites while all other satellites were booked rides by other companies. These included government and commercial spacecrafts.
"There are now over 3,000 working satellites in orbit. The number of satellites launched last year at over 1,200 is over twice as many as in any previous year. And the ones launched today - that used to be the number you'd launch in a whole year. So it's getting really crowded up there." (Jonathan McDowell from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
The previous record was held by an Indian space company that had deployed 104 satellites in 2017. This record was broken as today, technical components and smart materials for satellites are so much lighter and smaller than a couple of years ago. The largest satellites of this mission were only the size of a suitcase!
Space X was founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Musk is also the founder of Tesla Motors, PayPal and the Zip2 Corporation. According to the Space X website, payloads cost from 1 million US Dollars.
image: SpaceX Launch