SpaceX Plans Record-Breaking Launch With 143 Satellites
SpaceX plans to launch the most satellites ever deployed in a single mission, 143, on Saturday morning from Florida for more than a dozen customers. UPI reports: A 2017 mission by the India Space Research Organization launched 104 spacecraft, which would be the previous record if the SpaceX launch is a success. Liftoff aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is planned for at 9:40 a.m. EST, but could come up to 42 minutes later in case of a problem. The Transporter-1 mission is the first in a series of regularly scheduled SpaceX rideshare projects for multiple customers. SpaceX also plans to carry 10 of its Starlink communications satellites on this mission.

“The Starlink satellites aboard this mission will be the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit,” according to the SpaceX mission description. Polar orbits circle the globe by passing over the North Pole and South Pole, while many satellites circle above equatorial regions. Houston-based space firm Nanoracks is acting as a broker to arrange some customers for the launch, said Tristan Prejean, a mission manager at Nanoracks. Nanoracks’ two customers for Transporter-1 are two satellite companies, California-based Spire Global and Montreal-based GHGSat. Spire launches fleets of small satellites that monitor weather and patterns for shipping for aviation interests. GHGSat monitors industrial emissions of gasses from space — especially greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

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