Elon Musk’s SpaceX executed its 19th launch of the year on Monday, sending 64 small spacecrafts from 34 organizations into low Earth orbit. Bloomberg reports that a Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California’s central coast at about 10:34 a.m. local time.
The Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission includes 15 microsats and 49 cubesats from commercial and government entities, including universities, startups and a middle school. According to the SpaceX press kit, the payloads, which range from technology demonstrations and imaging satellites to educational-research endeavors, are originated from 17 countries, such as the United States, Brazil, India and South Korea.
SpaceX states a series of six deployments were expected to occur roughly 13 to 43 minutes after take-off. From there, Spaceflight would command its own deployment sequences over a six hour time period.
The Falcon 9’s shot into air twice before: May 2018 and again in August. SpaceX recovered it Monday on “Just Read the Instructions,” a droneship in the Pacific Ocean.
Falcon fairing halves missed the net, but touched down softly in the water. Mr Steven is picking them up. Plan is to dry them out & launch again. Nothing wrong with a little swim.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 3, 2018
Monday’s success landed a new SpaceX record for the number of launches in one year, stepping it up from a total of 18 in 2017. Another launch is expected for Tuesday from Cape Canaveral, Florida.