SpaceX debuts ridesharing program with Transporter-1 launch


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (NewsNation Now) —  After successfully launching another batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites last week, SpaceX successfully launched Transporter-1, the space company’s first dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission, on Sunday.

The launch was first scheduled for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Launch Complex 40 on Saturday at 9:40 a.m. EST. Due to weather concerns, the launch was rescheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m. EST.

The Transporter 1 mission is SpaceX’s first dedicated “rideshare” flight in a program intended to provide low-cost access to space for small satellites that otherwise might have problems hitching rides aboard rockets carrying larger, higher-priority satellites.

Onboard are 143 satellites and hosted payloads from dozens of nations, making it the most ever launched in a single mission. The company says Transporter missions will be carried out every four months or so as required.

The first Transporter-1 mission features CubeSats, microsats, orbital transfer vehicles, and 10 Starlink satellites.

“Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean,” SpaceX said.

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