SpaceX launched the first in a series of small satellite rideshare missions Sunday from Cape Canaveral, providing transportation for 143 U.S. and international spacecraft to low Earth orbit, a record number of satellites on a single flight. Liftoff occurred at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) Sunday after bad weather forced SpaceX to scrub a launch attempt Saturday morning.
A week after scrubbing a launch attempt to evaluate an issue with an oxygen sensor, Rocket Lab launched a mission Wednesday to deliver 10 small commercial Earth observation satellites to orbit. Liftoff of the Electron booster from Rocket Lab’s spaceport in New Zealand occurred at 5:21 p.m. EDT (2121 GMT).
Delayed a year by a launch failure, the coronavirus pandemic and a stretch of stiff upper level winds this summer, an Italian-made Vega rocket vaulted into orbit from French Guiana on Wednesday night and deployed 53 small satellites from 13 countries to punctuate a flawless return to flight mission.