SpaceX rocket launch carrying 64 satellites in massive rideshare mission
LOMPOC, Calif. (KTVU) - SpaceX successfully deployed 64 satellites on Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to the cheers of those back on the ground throughout the world.
Elon Musk's company launched the Falcon 9 at 10:30 a.m. PST after a series of delays triggered by bad weather and last-minute inspections for the rocket. Fifteen minutes after launching, the Falcon 9 first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship—completing the rocket booster’s third launch and landing this year. The entire deployment is expected to take six hours.
This mission also gave ride-sharing a new meaning. The 64 satellites were launched from 34 organizations in 17 countries and was one of the largest satellite ride-sharing missions ever launched, and the most crowded single mission in US history, according to Spaceflight, SpaceX's customer for the launch.
For SpaceX, the mission, called SSO-A, marked its 19th launch of 2018, surpassing its previous annual record of 18 launches last year.
This story was reported from Oakland, Calif.