SpaceX’s Falcon 9 has successfully completed Transporter-1, the company’s first SmallSat Rideshare Program mission.
After launching from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Sunday (24 January), the Falcon 9 flew along the east coast of Florida to deploy the Starlink satellites in a polar orbit, with the satellites passing above the north and south poles.
Falcon 9’s first stage then landed on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
The rocket carried a record 133 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles) and 10 Starlink satellites — the most spacecraft deployed on a single mission.
This surpasses the record held by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which carried 104 satellites on its PSLV-C37 mission in February 2017.
The Starlink satellites aboard this mission were also the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit.
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