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SpaceX launches a record 100+ satellites in one go!2 min read

February 16, 2021 2 min read


SpaceX launches a record 100+ satellites in one go!2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

All Things Science

Today, let’s talk about a new feat in space tech. SpaceX, Elon Musk’s aerospace company has regularly launched 50-60 satellites in one launch with their Falcon 9 over the last two years. But to take it to a whole new level, they launched 100+ satellites on their Falcon 9 rocket just in one launch! Whoa!

The Falcon 9 rocket has a payload capacity of 22,800 kgs (in other words, it can carry at least 3 elephants on board!), so this launch of 100+ satellites did use it optimally.

We demand more details!

SpaceX launched its Transporter-1 Mission carrying 143 satellites on board, and successfully completed the mission.

Although SpaceX usually launches Starlink satellites, the company has struck deals with others to carry their satellites into orbit. So, 133 of the 143 satellites were from other companies, and the remaining 10 were Starlink satellites. SpaceX claims that this mission was a record! But you know what? Most of the satellites on board were small. What does that mean? That SpaceX easily could carry more satellites into space.

What is SpaceX going with all this?

The Falcon 9 landing on a drone ship in the ocean.

SpaceX wants to connect the world with its Starlink satellites. This means bringing 5G to the most remote areas, from New York City to Timbuktu. With 5G being developed by many companies, Starlink is sure to be key in connecting the world with data. 

Watch the Falcon 9 launch 143 satellites here! (Skip to 30:20 to watch the liftoff of the Falcon 9):

But this isn’t necessarily a good thing! With more than 100+ satellites now in space, it’s only plausible that some may go out of order in the future. In that case, this will only add to earth’s growing problem of space debris.

While you ponder the pros and cons of technological advances, launch yourself further into the galaxy with this puzzle!

Where is ISRO in this space race?

ISRO, the Indian government’s space agency, actually has held the record for a while. Surprised? In 2018, they surpassed Russia’s previous record of 37 satellites (2014), and as it contained 83 satellites.

(All Things Science is a weekly column on astronomy, space and science)

Images: Ars Technica, GIPHY