Watch SpaceX’s first devoted rideshare rocket launch dwell, carrying a record-breaking payload of satellites – TechCrunch
SpaceX will launch the very first of its special ridesharing – an offer launched in 2019 that will allow small satellite operators to book part of a payload for a Falcon 9 launch. SpaceX’s rocket has a relatively high payload capacity compared to the size of many of the small satellites produced today. Such ridesharing offers smaller businesses and startups the opportunity to put their spaceship into orbit without breaking the bank. Today’s attempt is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST (7 a.m. PST) after a first attempt was canceled yesterday due to the weather. So far the weather looks a lot better for today.
The cargo capsule on the Falcon 9 flying today contains a total of 143 satellites, according to SpaceX. This is a new record for the highest number of satellites launched from a single rocket – a payload of 104 spacecraft delivered by the Indian Space Research Organization, the PSLV-C37 launch as early as February 2017. This is an important demonstration Not only the ridesharing opportunities from SpaceX, but also the complex coordination of a take-off, in which several payloads are made available relatively quickly one after the other in different target orbits.
This launch is being watched closely, especially with regard to the management of orbital traffic, as it definitely heralds what the future of the launch of private spaces might look like in terms of volume of activity. Some of the satellites that fly on this mission are not much larger than an iPad. Therefore, industry experts will pay close attention to how they are deployed and tracked to avoid potential conflict.
Some of the payloads launched today include significant amounts of launch spacecraft, including 36 of Swarm’s tiny IoT network satellites and eight of Kepler’s GEN-1 communications satellites. Also on board are 10 of SpaceX’s own Starlink satellites and 48 of Earth Labs spacecraft from Planet Labs.
The above launch current should begin approximately 15 minutes before the mission launch, which is set today at 10 a.m. EST (7 a.m. PST).