SpaceX has launched another 60 Starlink satellites on the Starlink v1.0 L23 mission.The take-off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station took place on April 7. 12:34 p.m. EDT (16:34 UTC)
This is the third time the Falcon 9 stage has flown, the seventh mission, the 10th Falcon 9 flight of the year, and the first in April. This flight will likely be SpaceX’s last mission ahead of the Crew-2 launch later this month.
Booster Reuse and Launch Preparation
SpaceX used the proven Falcon 9 Block 5 booster on flight B1058-7, with “-7” representing the seventh flight of the arena. This is the third time the booster has been used on the seventh flight.
The B1058 is one of five Falcon 9 accelerators launched in 2020, supporting the Crew Demo-2 mission for the first time in May 2020, becoming the first SpaceX rocket to launch crews into space. It then supported the ANASIS-II mission in July 2020 when achieving the fastest Falcon 9 booster response at that time, with 51 days between launch.
Later, it supported the Starlink v1.0 L12 mission in October 2020, followed by the SpaceX CRS-21 mission in December 2020, the first launch of the Cargo Dragon 2 spacecraft in 2021. Transporter-1 rideshare in January and Starlink v1.0 L20 mission in March.
This time, the B1058 was rotated in 27 days, 8 hours.This makes Starlink v1.0 L23 the second fastest turnaround for the Falcon 9, just beat the B1060 in the Starlink v1.0 L18 mission at 27 days 4 hours.
However, this launch gave the B1058 the fastest average response time of 52 days.These fast response recordings helped SpaceX quickly reuse the Falcon 9 boosters to support Starlink and other missions.
The B1058 successfully landed aboard a SpaceX autonomous port drone. Of course I still love you (OCISLY) Stationed ~ 633km downrange OCISLY leaves Port Canaveral on April 3 to support Starlink v1.0 L23.
JRTI technicians and Tug Hawk crew watched as the Falcon 9 lifted another 60 Starlink satellites into space.The B1058-7 landed 633km aboard the OCISLY, while the second stage continued into orbit. #SpaceX
Conclusion: https://t.co/NciRZpqDid pic.twitter.com/Fk3X4dVfLi
– Julia (@julia_bergeron) April 7, 2021
The mission also uses a set of in-flight proven payload fairings. Half-latent half fairing supports Starlink v1.0 L12 missions in October 2020.
The active half supports AMOS-17 missions in August 2019, Starlink v1.0 L6 missions in April 2020, and Starlink v1.0 L15 missions in November 2020. This is the second time a half plane has flown four missions.
Once the fairings are separated from the Falcon 9, they are restored by the fairing recovery ship. Shelebordelon.
This time, SpaceX has not performed static electricity testing prior to launch since the Starlink v1.0 L8 vs. B1059-3.Many missions do not require a static electricity test due to proven flight reliability. For non-Starlink missions, launch customers can request a pre-launch static fire test.
At the T-38 minute, a final Go / No-Go survey will be conducted for the rocket loading. Three minutes later, the automatic launch sequence was initiated by starting the RP-1 fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) loading in the first stage and the RP-1 loading in the second stage.
The second stage of the RP-1 loading was done at T-20 minutes before the LOX loading started at T-16 minutes.
In T-7 minutes, the Falcon 9 starts the engine to cool to ensure there is no thermal shocks on the engine during ignition.In T-4 minutes, the transporter / generator retracts to 88.2 degrees for launch.
The entire rocket loading was done at T-2 minutes. By the minute the T-1 Falcon 9 went to “start” and the onboard computer controls the countdown. At the same time, both phases began to put pressure on the flight.
Three seconds before the engine control overhaul, the first engine to ignite.
Once the engine is full of thrust and checked it is healthy, the hydraulic clamps drop the Falcon 9 and the transporter / puller returns to 45 degrees when the truck is lifted.
A few seconds later, Falcon 9 starts a pitch program to fly northeast from Cape Canaveral to a 53-degree orbit at T + 1 min. 12 sec. Falcon 9 reaches Max-Q, where aerodynamic forces are at. Peak
At T + 2 minutes 33 seconds, the first nine engines will turn off, followed by a separate step a few seconds later. Only one Merlin vacuum engine in the second stage and then ignited.
First step, then take the grid fins and start the flipping maneuvers to prepare for the re-entry. At approximately T + 3 minutes, the load fairing will be separated.
After six minutes of flight, the first stage uses three engines to slow down and protect yourself from reversing. Burning the item lasted about 20 seconds.
A few minutes later, the first step was taken by a single engine and landed. OCISLYThis is the Falcon 9’s Stage 79 landing, the first stage will be brought back to Port Canaveral to begin inspections and improvements for the eighth flight.
As the first stage was landing, the second stage turned off and entered the landing orbit. It then restarts for 1 second, a second burn, puts the Falcon 9 and 60 Starlink satellites in orbit approximately 260 x 296 kilometers.
After the burn is complete, the second stage will begin slowly to prepare for the installation of Starlink.After the spin begins and the coast for another 15 minutes is complete, 60 Starlink satellites will be separated from the second stage.
The recently launched Starlink satellites will be launched and transported to 550 kilometers of orbit and operational aircraft.
Starlink is SpaceX’s low-orbit satellite internet constellation that aims to provide fast, affordable, low latency services that are currently unavailable or expensive by the Internet.
The Starlink constellation is set to consist of five orbitals, with the Starlink v1.0 L23 mission continuing to build the first. The projectile will consist of 1,584 satellites at an altitude of 550 kilometers, orbit of 53 degrees.These first satellites were launched in November 2019, and the first shells will be completed with the Starlink v1.0 L28 mission.
When the shell is complete, Starlink will provide protection over 80% of the Earth’s surface.
Each Starlink v1.0 satellite weighs 260 kg and is designed to be compact. The satellite is equipped with a Hall-effect Krypton Ion Thruster to move through space.
Since May 2019, 1,445 Starlink satellites have been launched into space, 1,319 of which remain in orbit.
Starlink v1.0 L23 will likely be the final launch before SpaceX has started to focus on the Crew-2 mission, being lifted from the LC-39A on April 22.
(Photo of B1058-7 launching Starlink v1.0 L23 mission – via Stephen Marr for NSF)