Elon Musk’s SpaceX aerospace company launched 143 spacecraft into space on Sunday, a new record for the most spaceships deployed on a single mission.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 10:30am EST from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. It flew south along the eastern coast of Florida on its way to space, the company said.
The reusable rocket ferried 133 commercial and government spacecraft and 10 Starlink satellites to space – part of the company’s SmallSat Rideshare Program, which provides access to space for small satellite operators seeking a reliable, affordable ride to orbit, according to the company.
SpaceX delayed the launch one day because of unfavourable weather.
The record was previously held by Indian Space Research Organisation. In February of 2017, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully delivered 104 satellites into a handful of different Sun-synchronous orbits.
SpaceX has launched more than 800 satellites of the several thousand needed to offer broadband internet globally, a $10 billion investment it estimates could generate $30 billion annually to help fund Musk’s interplanetary rocket program, called Starship.