Cape Canaveral, Florida – Prof. SpaceX The Falcon 9 rocket was launched on a record-breaking eighth flight to send a new fleet of Starlink internet satellites into orbit on Wednesday (January 20) and then landed at sea.
The Falcon 9 rocket It took off from the historic Pad 39A here at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 8:02 a.m. EST (1202 GMT) carrying 60 new aircraft Starlink satellites For the growing constellation of SpaceX in orbit. The launch came after two days of delay due to bad weather in the recovery area and the need for additional checks before the flight.
About 9 minutes after takeoff, the first stage of the Falcon 9 returned to Earth, landing on one of SpaceX’s unmanned ships in the Atlantic in a smooth landing. The massive ship, “Just Read the Instructions”, is one of two in the company’s fleet of recovery ships that pick up fallen boosters and return them to port.
The mission was originally scheduled to take off Monday (January 18), but has been delayed by 24 hours to allow improved weather conditions in the recovery area. SpaceX relies heavily on its fleet of reused rockets, so the company wants to make sure every hunt is successful after launch.
On Tuesday (January 19), the company decided it needed another day to insert the missile into some additional check-outs before launch, as this flight marked the first time one of the Falcon 9’s first-stage boosters had flown 8 times.
The delay proved fruitful as the veteran Falcon 9 jumped off the podium on Wednesday on its eighth mission. It landed on “Just Read the Instructions” in the Atlantic Ocean, ushering in the 72nd landing of a SpaceX missile.
The missile that appeared in this launch is one of two record-breaking boosters on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 fleet. This well-proven booster aircraft is known as the B1051, and is the first in SpaceX’s fleet to make the eighth flight. It also represents one of SpaceX’s shorter spin times between flights, like this special booster The last flight was just over a month ago on December 13th.
To date, the B1051 has carried a variety of payloads, Including an unmanned Crew Dragon spacecraft To the International Space Station as part of the 2019 flight test, followed by Three Earth Observation Satellites for Canada Plus four different Starlink missions. On its December 13 flight, the missile carried 15,432 pounds. (7,000 kilograms) satellite in orbit for Sirius XM, which will transmit content to Sirius subscribers across the US, Canada and the Caribbean.
Today’s launch marks the overall 102nd flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 two-stage missile, as well as the company’s successful 72nd landing. SpaceX has two fully operational drone ship landing platforms – “Of Course I Still Love You” and “Just Read the Instructions” – in Florida, allowing it to launch (and land) more missiles.
The company’s first unmanned ship, Of Course I Still Love You, was recently refurbished after a busy 2020. It is currently making its way into the designated recovery area for SpaceX’s Transporter-1 mission (scheduled to launch later this month). The latest version of “Just Read the Instructions” has received the second edition of this year’s “Just Read the Instructions”.
SpaceX’s current iteration of its Falcon 9 missile went into service in 2018, as it moved a communications satellite into orbit to Bangladesh. Known as Block 5, this improved version of Falcon 9 is known for a series of improvements – including a more robust thermal protection system, titanium mesh fins, plus a more durable interlayer stage – that facilitate reuse.
SpaceX’s very big year: 2020 to launch astronauts, spacecraft tests, and more
As such, SpaceX has relied heavily on its veteran missile fleet, relaunching a total of 50 Stage 1 boosters within five years. (The California-based space company recovered its first booster in 2015.) In 2020, the company performed 26 missions, with 22 of them on reused rockets.
The company Lost two reinforcements in consecutive unmanned ship faults Early in 2020, but since then every booster landed on two SpaceX unmanned ships faltered. In SpaceX’s missile fleet, it has eight veteran deployments, plus a pair of augmentations designed to fly as part of the company’s iteration of heavy lifting. Falcon Heavy.
Starlink mega star
SpaceX aims to help make humanity a multi-planetary species. In order to help fund its Mars ambitions, the company has developed a plan to cover Earth with Internet coverage through a coherent set of broadband satellites. This huge group of satellites is expected to fly near the planet in a region of space called low Earth orbit.
With a small station (no bigger than a laptop), users on Earth will be able to connect to the ever-growing network, which is It is currently still in beta testing.
The satellite network of the Internet will be a vehicle for SpaceX and its CEO, Elon Musk, To generate revenue for Mars exploration and the necessary hardware, such as the massive spacecraft, which is currently being developed at the company’s Boca Chica facility in South Texas and its Super Heavy booster. Musk estimated that Starlink’s service could generate up to $ 30 billion annually, although no fixed rates have been announced yet.
With this launch, the company will have sent more than 1,000 of its initial batch of 1,400 quarter-ton flat satellites into space – more than enough to start SpaceX rolling out its service.
But the company doesn’t stop there. It has plans for a massive satellite constellation with tens of thousands of satellites flying over Earth and broadcasting high-speed, low-latency internet signals. To date, the Federal Communications Commission has granted SpaceX permission to launch up to 12,000 satellite broadband, but the company has indicated that it will seek approval to launch up to 30,000 of its satellites that broadcast over the Internet.
However, there are still many regulatory hurdles to overcome and more satellites to be launched before service can be provided globally, but the initial test is promising. So promising in fact, that SpaceX recently received approval from British telecom company, Ofcom, to expand its beta test program “better than nothing” in the UK. SpaceX has also signed a remote public school district in Virginia as well as its first client in Canada – Pikangikum First Nation reservation.
SpaceX is flying the confirmed payload cruise (also known as the rocket nose cone) on this flight. The devices used were protecting the Starlink satellites in flight in the atmosphere.
The halves account for 10% of the total vehicle cost and their reuse allows SpaceX to cut costs. To this end, each gift is able to redirect itself to the land where it will be strewn in the ocean or It lands in a giant net connected to a rescue ship.
SpaceX has two of these portable masks – GO Ms. Tree and GO Ms. The two boats were deployed to work this time, and they were hanging in port in Morehead City, North Carolina until SpaceX was ready to launch the mission.
The duo will take both pieces out of the water and try to use them again at some point in the future, company representatives said during the live broadcast.
Next to SpaceX is a flight-sharing mission called Transporter-1, which is scheduled to take off as soon as Friday (Jan.22).
Follow Amy Thompson on Twitter @ astrogingersnap. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.