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SpaceX Successfully Sends 105 Small Satellites To Orbit In Second Orbital Launch Of The Year

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk-owned SpaceX on Thursday successfully completed its second orbital launch of the year aboard the reusable Falcon 9 rocket to lift 105 small satellites to orbit for rideshare customers.

What Happened: The two-stage Falcon 9 launched the Transporter-3 rideshare mission at 10:25 a.m. ET from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. 

The first stage rocket returned to base within nine minutes to land at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. 

This was the tenth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 stage booster, SpaceX said.

The Transporter-3 mission delivered a total of 105 commercial and government spacecraft including CubeSats, Microsats, PocketQubes, and orbital transfer vehicles.

See Also: SpaceX Gearing Up For Second Orbital Launch Of The Year To Deploy Smaller Satellites

Transporter 3 is a dedicated rideshare mission by SpaceX to low earth orbit with payloads for as low as $1 million permission, which includes up to 200 kilograms of payload mass.

SpaceX shared short clips of the liftoff, rideshare deployment and the Falcon’s landing on the microblogging site twitter.

The mission also delivered 44 of Space imaging company Planet Labs Inc’s (NYSE: PL) small satellites SuperDoves in orbit. The company confirmed the development saying it now has about 244 operational satellites in orbit that daily scan planet earth.

The mission also launched a first nanosatellite constellation that was made entirely in South Africa, Musk’s birthplace country. 

See Also: Elon Musk’s SpaceX To Launch Three South African-Made Nanosatellites: Why This Is Historically Important

Why It Matters: The development comes a week after SpaceX successfully deployed 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from the launch site at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket. The reusability factor brings down costs significantly as it allows the space agency to refly the most expensive parts of the rocket.

The space company run by the billionaire entrepreneur Musk completed 31 various mission launches in 2021 and 26 in 2020.

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