CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit Tuesday afternoon (May 4) and then landed them at sea for a successful mission.
The veteran Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Pad 39A here at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:01 p.m. EDT (1901 GMT), the company’s 13th launch this year.
SpaceX released its own version of the “Fastest Garbage in the Galaxy” Falcon 9 on Star Wars Day (aka “May the Fourth”), a global celebration of “Star Wars”, its 229 tall rocket. The feet (70 meters) are named after the Millennium Falcon, the iconic ship in the “Star Wars”; franchise driven by Han Solo. Is it a payload? 60 flat broadband satellites known as Starlink.
“And leave! Let the military be with us, ”the SpaceX launch speaker said during a live broadcast of the mission.
Video: SpaceX launches Starlink 25 missions! Nourishes nails
Related: May the fourth be with you! R2-D2 Helps NASA Astronauts Celebrate ‘Star Wars Day’
About nine minutes after takeoff, the rocket returned to Earth, touching it onto SpaceX’s “Of Course I Still Love You” drone for a ninth successful landing.
The initial launch was part of the planned SpaceX doubleheader, as the company was working on a massive Starship launch at its South Texas plant.The flight was pushed back no earlier than Thursday (May 6). While the Falcon 9 can get off the ground.
Observers were blown away by the rockets as part of a rare daytime mission.
Related: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite stars launched in photographs.
SpaceX is continuing its swift launch last year as California-based rocket builder Hawthorne celebrated its 13th launch until 2021.Every launch of these rockets is a reusable rocket and Most of them have SpaceX’s own Starlink satellites.That’s because the company is working to fill the default internet constellation with 1,440 broadband satellites.
That goal has been achieved, but SpaceX has not slowed down.Currently, the company is allowed to launch as many as 30,000 Starlink satellites with additional options.
Forecasters at the 45th Space Wing forecast good weather at the start, and the weather did not disappoint. Nothing but clear blue skies over the intergalactic shores as the hawk roars life and ascends into orbit.
The only concerns with Tuesday’s launch are the recovering weather and rising winds at the launch site. Neither has been proven to be a problem.
Can be reused quickly
The booster used in Tuesday’s launch, called the B1049, is not only one of SpaceX’s proven fleet, but also one of the most experienced boosters. The veteran pilot now has nine launches and landings under its belt as the company plans to push the Falcon 9 rocket to its limit as only the second booster in SpaceX’s fleet to achieve this goal (another The one is B1051)
The frequent fly plane was launched in 2018 carrying Telstar 18V satellites before traveling across the country to launch 10 Iridium NEXT satellites in 2019.The subsequent missions carried all Starlink payloads.
Tuesday’s flight marks the seventh broadband satellite load this booster has carried into space.SpaceX has used the previously flown boosters with the most distances to transport its own satellites into space.
This is the Falcon 9’s 117th overall flight and the 63rd flight of a refurbished secondhand booster. In fact, every SpaceX launched until 2021 was proven to be a proven rocket.
When an upgraded version of the Falcon 9 launches in 2018, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk told reporters that the company expects each Falcon 9 to fly 10 times, with few revisions between flights and up to. 100 times before retirement
According to Musk, the company has learned a lot through the refurbishment process, including there appears to be no limit on the number of flights a Falcon 9 can fly following the launch of the Crew-2 astronaut mission to the International Space Station for NASA CEOs. SpaceX’s OO has stated that the company will push the Falcons to their limits and continue flying on the Starlink missions until they break, potentially exceeding the 10 previously anticipated flights.
Having a swarm of proven flying rockets allows SpaceX to keep up with its rapid firing rhythm. However, company officials stressed that while the loss of the booster is a shame. But the main objective of each mission is to always safely transport the payload to the intended orbit. Beyond that is a bonus.
SpaceX hasn’t launched the same rocket 10 times, but according to Musk, that historic flight is likely to happen in the near future.
Expansion of the constellations
SpaceX launched a large constellation of Internet stars to help provide Internet coverage around the world, especially those in remote and rural areas. To this end, the company’s engineers designed a cluster of flat broadband satellites to fly above the earth, delivering internet coverage to users who have access to services through a compact user terminal.
With a successful launch Tuesday, SpaceX has launched nearly 1,600 Starlink satellites into orbit, including some that are no longer operational. This exceeds the company’s initial quota, which means we’ll be seeing an official launch of the Starlink commercial internet service sometime this year.
Starlink is currently in beta testing phase with its rapidly growing broadband global users.The company also opened a website to begin pre-orders, although the service didn’t start immediately. Prospective users can go to the company’s website and instantly book the service with a $ 99 deposit.
Starlink review (in action): How Good Is Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet Service?
SpaceX isn’t the only company with the inspiration to connect the world.OneWeb, Amazon, and Telstar all have their own planned constellations. Currently, however, OneWeb is just another service that offers real satellites in space.
The London-based company launched 36 satellites in March using Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft as part of an effort to fill out a planned constellation of 650 satellites (to date, OneWeb has launched five of 19 missions. Mission planned)
Amazon recently signed a deal with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) for nine Project Kuiper missions to fly on future Atlas V rockets, specifics on the number of satellites to be launched and when they have yet to be released.
Both parts of the fairing shown on Tuesday’s mission will be restored by the newest member of SpaceX’s recovery fleet Shelia Bordelon.
Thanks to the onboard parachute and navigation software, the clam-like hardware glides back to Earth and splashes gently into the Atlantic. The two fairing pieces are then pulled out of the water by a brightly colored boat.
This is the fourth mission for Shelia Bordelon, which uses a crane on the ship to retrieve the fairings. With luck, the fairing will be available again in future missions.
Follow Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.