And two hundred! SpaceX yesterday carried out its first launch in the year 2023, which was also its 200th launch (successful), a mission that, in addition to the symbolic figure, consisted of placing into orbit no less than 114 satellites (mainly of the cubesat type). Among the 114 satellites deployed (for 82 deployment operations to be performed) are two French satellites viz. the satellite for the maritime surveillance fleet of the Breton start-up Unseen Labsand the nanosatellite Gamma Alpha. The Gama Alpha satellite is a 6U (i.e. 60 cm side) 10 kg cubesat, in which the French start-up Gama’s solar sail folds by hand. The latter will be deployed in the coming hours and will therefore allow the satellite to be powered solely by solar radiation!
Falcon 9 launches SpaceX’s sixth dedicated smallsat rideshare mission – completing our 200th successful launch! pic.twitter.com/SIaypHsMur
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) 3 January 2023
Another satellite deployed for this 200th, theEOS SAT-1, an “agricultural” surveillance satellite capable of scanning no less than 1 million square kilometers each day via 11 different frequency bands. The purpose of EOS Sat-1 is to monitor forests and crops, on a mammoth scale here. EOS Sat-1 will soon be accompanied by 6 other satellites of the same type, an armada capable of monitoring an area of 12 million square kilometers daily!