It was another routine launch for Elon Musk’s SpaceX on January 13th. A Falcon 9 rocket placed 105 smaller satellites into orbit for a number of clients and universities.
Musk’s team, despite facing a number of potential problems that frequently effect other launch providers, have seemingly managed to make the launching of satellites a wholly reliable and routine prospect.
This latest launch – Transporter 3 – was something of a space taxi service carrying its 105 passengers on their way to orbit and then some eight minutes after launch landing the booster back at its launch site at Cape Canaveral.
The mission carried cargo satellites drawn from 20 countries. Three of the small craft were produced by South Africa’s Cape Peninsula University of Technology and their three nano-satellites which will protect the nation against illegal fishing.
Last year, SpaceX had initially hoped to make as many as 48 launches in a single year. 2021 saw only 31 launches during the year and flew one booster a total of 11 times and achieved the 100th successful landing of its booster rockets.