SpaceX continues its successful launch streak, achieving a triple record after putting 55 satellites into orbit in less than 48 hours.
SpaceX completed a record triple header early Sunday, launching a Globalstar communications satellite from Cape Canaveral after launching a German radar satellite from California on Saturday and launching 53 Starlink internet satellites on Friday from the Kennedy Space Center.
Globalstar’s launch capped the fastest three-flight cadence for an orbital-class rocket in modern space history, as the company accomplished its 158th, 159th and 160th Falcon 9 flights in just 36 hours and 18 minutes. More than 50 releases are expected by the end of the year.
SpaceX’s trifecta began at 12:09 p.m. EDT on Friday, when a Falcon 9 using a first stage and making its 13th flight zoomed away from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center with another batch of Starlink satellites, brought the total released to date to 2,706.
Twenty-two hours later, at 10:17 a.m. on Saturday, another Falcon 9 propelled Germany‘s SARah 1 radar reconnaissance satellite into polar orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
Sunday’s flight began at 12:27 am when another Falcon 9 lifted off from Pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, lighting up the night sky as it climbed northeast over the Atlantic Ocean.
Two and a half minutes later, the first stage detached and headed for a landing on a drone offshore, while the second stage continued its ascent into space.
Finally, around 2:20 a.m., the Globalstar FM15 satellite was launched to fly on its own, bringing SpaceX’s third flight in less than two days to a successful conclusion.
Globalstar operates a constellation of satellites that provide voice and data services to users around the world.