SpaceX launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets for a record 13th time on Sunday morning (July 17), and it also managed to land.
A falcon 9 carrying 53 of SpaceX star link The Internet satellites blasted off at 10:20 am EDT (14:20 GMT) on Sunday from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
It was the 13th launch of this Falcon 9’s first stage, tying a rocket reuse record that spacex established last month and paired only 10 days ago. The booster also helped divert SpaceX Demonstration-2 manned test flight to the International Space Station, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, the SXM-7 communications satellite and nine Starlink missions, SpaceX representatives said in a statement. mission description (opens in a new tab).
related: SpaceX’s Starlink mega-constellation launches in photos
And this booster will likely fly once again: A little less than nine minutes after liftoff, it descended for a vertical landing on SpaceX’s Just Read the Instructions drone, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
The 53 Starlink satellites were deployed from the Falcon 9 upper stage about seven minutes later, 15.5 minutes after liftoff, according to a cheep (opens in a new tab) Of the company.
The fairing halves that protected the third satellites on their journey to orbit performed their flight today, marking the 50th SpaceX mission to use scrambled fairing halves, according to the company’s mission broadcast. The fairings were also intended to be pulled out of the water for use on a future mission.
Sunday’s flight continues a very busy 2022 for SpaceX. Today’s flight was Falcon 9’s 31st mission this year, and has already tied the company’s 2021 launch tally.
Starlink is SpaceX’s huge constellation of broadband satellites. The company have launched more than 2,800 Starlink spacecraft into low-Earth orbit to date, with many more likely to go up in the not-too-distant future: SpaceX has permission to raise 12,000 Starlink satellites, and has requested approval to launch an additional 30,000 spacecraft on top of that.
Mike Wall is the author of “out there (opens in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; Illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @migueldwall (opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @spacedot.com (opens in a new tab) or in Facebook (opens in a new tab).
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