SpaceX set a record for the number of satellites sent into orbit by a single rocket, and that’s not the only milestone reached during today’s Transporter-1 mission.
The Falcon 9 rocket launch also marked the orbital debut of Sherpa-FX, a satellite transfer vehicle made and managed by Seattle-based Spaceflight Inc.
SpaceX had postponed the launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida for a day due to concerns about the potential for lightning. Today’s weather was also “a bit challenging,” launch commentator Andy Tran said, but all systems were go tor today’s liftoff at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT).
Minutes after launch, the Falcon’s second stage separated from the first-stage booster as planned. The booster, which had been used for four previous launches, flew itself back over the Atlantic Ocean to land on a drone ship dubbed “Of Course I Still Love You.” Meanwhile, the second stage continued its ascent to orbit, loaded with satellites.