The company known to many around the world as SpaceX seems to be firing on all cylinders after completing three launches from the US in less than 48 hours.
Missions of government agencies, private companies, as well as SpaceX’s Internet launched successfully Friday and Saturday from complexes in California and Florida.
Elon Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) in 2002 and has successfully launched nearly 200 missions in its two decades of existence.
Musk tweeted Congratulating him on the achievement shortly after the third launch, “Congratulations to the SpaceX team on 3 perfect orbital launches within 36 hours!!!”
If SpaceX can keep up the pace, the company will likely continue to break records in the new year with dozens of launches already in the pipeline, including a historic trip around the moon by private astronauts.
Both entities played vital roles in the most recent missions in mid-December.
Saturday, December 17th, afternoon launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida
SpaceX wrapped up a busy 48 hours Saturday afternoon with a launch of 54 Starlink satellites from Kennedy Space Center.
The launch appeared to go smoothly at 4:32 p.m., and the company said the event set a record for the number of times the booster rocket was reused in launches.
The reusable portion of the missile has now been used for 15 missions and has been retrieved by a drone ship each time.
Falcon 9 first stage It landed on “Just Read the Instructions” shortly after liftoff, making it possible for the company to complete its 16th launch with a booster, if it so chose.
SpaceX maintains that its fleet of reusable rockets has enabled the company to lower the costs of space travel and launch thousands of satellites into orbit.
Saturday load 54 Starlink satellites It will add capabilities to the SpaceX constellation network, providing Internet access in 40 countries.
Friday, December 16th, evening launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida
About 24 hours before Starlink’s launch, SpaceX completed a mission known as O3b mPower.
Two remote communications satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket flew into orbit after liftoff Friday from Florida’s east coast.
Similar to the Starlink mission, SpaceX said the rocket booster successfully landed on “A Shortfall of Gravitas” drone ship off the coast of Florida.
Once the satellites are operational, SES, a Europe-based telecom company, said the technology will boost broadband coverage to remote areas around the world.
“Today, with our second generation O3b mPOWER, we are introducing a game-changing technology that delivers a unique combination of multi-gigabit-per-second anywhere throughput, guaranteed reliability and service resilience that is a first in the industry,” Steve Collar, President said. SES CEO in a statement. “Whether we enable governments to securely carry out critical missions, cruise operators to provide high-speed broadband access to passengers at all times, mobile operators to deploy 4G/5G networks in disconnected areas or restore telecom networks in time of downtime, O3b mPOWER is the satellite system of choice for applications where performance matters most. “
Friday, December 16, morning launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket also helped launch a satellite that monitors water and helps agencies understand a changing climate.
The joint NASA-France Space Agency mission lifted off under Southern California skies Friday at 6:46 a.m.
NASA said the mission of surface waters and oceansCommonly referred to as SWOT, it will measure water levels in oceans, rivers and lakes and help scientists determine how water bodies have changed over time.
Agencies have used Vandenberg for satellite launches since 1978, and the location is ideal for missions that require polar orbits.