Washington: SpaceX’s second dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission successfully hoisted more than 80 spacecraft into orbit, using a recycled booster and nosecone faring from earlier missions in a successful launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
“On board this launch are 85 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles) and three Starlink satellites. While there are fewer spacecraft on board compared to Transporter-1, this mission is actually launching more mass to orbit for SpaceX’s customers,” a SpaceX press release said Wednesday.
The Rideshare Program provides launch services for customers that pay SpaceX based on the weight of their respective payloads.
The Falcon 9 launch vehicle’s first stage booster previously supported launches of a third generation GPS satellite, the Turksat 5A communications satellite, and five missions to deploy satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service, the release said.
The nosecone faring atop the rocket, which protects payloads during launch, was also recycled from two earlier flights, the release added.
The private rocket company led by US entrepreneur Elon Musk has pioneered the recovery and recycling of previously used rocket parts in an attempt to lower costs of spaceflight.