After a busy 2020, which saw it achieve a number of achievements, including the launch of the first astronauts into space from US Earth in 2011, SpaceX completed its first rocket launch in 2021 on Thursday.
The company, led by Elon Musk, sent a communications satellite to Turkey into orbit via its Falcon 9 rocket, taking off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 9:15 p.m. EST.
Shortly afterwards, SpaceX confirmed that it had successfully deployed the Turksat 5A satellite, which is said to be used to increase Turkey’s presence in space.
SPACEX STARTS SIRIUSXM SATELLITE FROM CAPE CANAVERAL
Later this year, SpaceX will also send the Turksat 5B satellite into space, according to Space.com.
SpaceX, which helped Musk become the richest man in the world, also successfully landed the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket on a Just Read The Instructions drone floating in the Atlantic Ocean. This is the fourth launch for this first stage. It was previously used to send a GPS satellite to the US space force and the growing business of Starlink Internet Satellite, once in September and then again in October.
Hawthorne, California, based on SpaceX, also intends to restore both parts of the nose cone.
SpaceX is expected to have a crowded calendar in 2021, including testing of its Starship SN9 prototype, which may come as early as this weekend.
The aerospace company conducted a triple static fire test of the next-generation Raptor space flight system Wednesday at the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas, which briefly showed that the three engines of the test car were lit.
Starship is a fully usable transport system designed to transport both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond. Starship is expected to be the most powerful launch vehicle in the world ever developed, with the ability to carry more than 100 metric tons into Earth orbit.
According to Spaceflightnow.com, SpaceX will launch more than 40 rockets this year, some coming from Florida and others from California.
The company’s next mission will be the Transporter-1 mission, which is scheduled to take place on January 14 from Cape Canaveral.
Initially set for December 16, this launch will show that SpaceX is sending the Falcon 9 to transport “dozens of small microsatellites and nanosatellites for commercial and government customers,” Spaceflightnow noted.
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Lucas Manfredi of FOX Business contributed to this story.