SpaceX launches record batch of satellites in first in-house rideshare mission
SpaceX launched a batch of 143 spacecraft to space from Florida on Sunday morning under the company’s new cost-cutting SmallSat Rideshare Program, breaking the record for the most satellites lofted into space on a single launch.
The Transporter-1 mission kicks off a potentially lucrative business line for SpaceX, which unveiled in 2019 its SmallSat Rideshare Program, essentially a carpool for dozens of satellites of different shapes and sizes. The program offers relatively cheap access to space for small satellite companies starting at $1 million for the first 485 pounds.
Much like a rideshare Uber, a company’s small satellite can hitch a ride to space with other spacecraft instead of buying an entire rocket at a much higher price.