Elon Musk's SpaceX launches 114 satellites into orbit on its first rocket of ... trends now
The Falcon 9 rocket took off at 9:56 am ET from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida with a payload of satellites to measure greenhouse gas emissions, several devices to monitor agriculture and 10 new Starlink internet satellites.
This mission, known as Transporter-6, follows SpaceX's record year of 61 launches in 2022, but the company is aiming for as many as 100 this year.
It also comes as SpaceX announced it is raising $750 million in a new round of funding that values the rocket and satellite company at $137 billion from investors.
SpaceX launched its first rocket in 2023. The Falcon 9 took off at 9:56 am ET from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida
It was clear skies over the Falcon 9 as it shot off into space Tuesday.
This was the second time SpaceX attempted to launch one of its Falcon 9 first stages 15 times, as this rocket has previously launched the GPS III-3 satellite for the US Space Force, three other commercial missions and 10 batches of Starlink satellites.
The 114 satellites, which belong to operators in 23 counties, include 36 small SuperDove CubeSats for Planet’s commercial Earth-imaging constellation.
The mission also saw a 400-pound satellite for EOS Data Analytics, a Silicon Valley startup founded by Max Polyakov, a Ukrainian entrepreneur and investor, launch aboard the rocket.
This craft is designed to capture images of Earth's surface, focusing on agriculture, and is the largest device that launched Tuesday.
The US Space Force used this mission to deploy a prototype cloud imaging device, and military satellites from Norway and the Netherlands also hitched a ride.
About eight and a half minutes after liftoff, the 230-foot-tall first-stage booster returned to Earth, where it touched down at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1 and ended the mission with window-rattling sonic booms.
And the latest batch of Starlink satellites brings the massive