SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink spacecraft; FCC clears SpaceX to fly satellites at lower altitudes


Spaceflight Now 29 April, 2021 - 04:41am 9 views

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Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria, South Africa), South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm PayPal and formed SpaceX, maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft. britannica.comElon Musk | Biography & Facts

SpaceX aces 25th Starlink launch and delivers 1500th Starlink satellite to orbit

Teslarati 30 April, 2021 - 05:11am

After a minor issue at sea triggered a ~23-hour delay, a flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket lifted off without issue on April 28th, carrying an expendable upper stage and 60 Starlink internet satellites as part of its seventh launch and SpaceX’s ninth Starlink mission in 2021 alone.

As is now routine, Falcon 9 booster B1060 burned its nine Merlin 1D (M1D) engines for approximately two and a half minutes and separated from the integrated second stage and payload, which ignited a lone Merlin Vacuum (MVac) engine and continued on its way to orbit. During that approximately six-minute-long second stage burn, B1060 flipped to point its aft end towards the atmosphere, crested to an apogee greater than 150 km (~90 mi), performed a reentry burn to slow down and limit heating, and aced its seventh drone ship landing in ten months.

Known as Starlink-24, the mission is SpaceX’s two-dozenth operational Starlink launch since ‘v1.0’ satellite launches began less than 18 months ago in November 2019. Including an earlier batch of 60 v0.9 Starlink prototypes launched in May 2019, the vast majority of which have been intentionally deorbited, SpaceX has now launched more than 1500 Starlink satellites. Of the 1450 operational spacecraft launched in 17 months, 1435 remain in orbit and some 1430 – 98.6% – are still under SpaceX’s control. With Starlink-24 complete, SpaceX may also possess more active Starlink satellites in orbit than all other commercial satellites combined.

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, completing this booster’s seventh launch and landing

As previously discussed on Teslarati, several sources suggest that Starlink-24 will kick an extremely busy May and June launch manifest for SpaceX.

Including Starlink-24, that means that SpaceX appears to have up to eight Falcon 9 launches scheduled in the next seven weeks and possibly even a ninth or tenth mission in the last two weeks of June. Starlink-24 is SpaceX’s 12th launch this year, leaving the company firmly on track to complete at least 36 orbital launches in 2021 – nearly 40% more than its current record of 26 launches completed in 2020.

Rewatch – and catch the tail end of – SpaceX’s Starlink-24 webcast below.

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Watch: SpaceX launches another batch of 60 Starlink satellites

Orlando Sentinel 30 April, 2021 - 05:11am

At 11:44 p.m. Wednesday, SpaceX successfully launched the batch of 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The satellites blasted off with the help of Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster, which previously supported the launches of GPS III Space Vehicle 03, Turksat 5A, and four Starlink missions.

About 8 minutes after launching, Falcon 9 successfully landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, located in the Atlantic Ocean. It was the booster’s seventh successful flight. Reusability is a critical part of the rocket-fairing experience at SpaceX, which in turn drives down the cost of launches and re-fly the most expensive materials materials.

About 35 minutes after liftoff, the Starlink satellites were successfully deployed into orbit by the second stage rocket early Thursday morning, totaling 1,505 Starlink satellites placed in orbit. However, there are currently1,434 Starlink satellites floating above the Earth as part of SpaceX’s attempt to bring internet services to the far reaches of the planet. Several have already de-orbited. Starlink satellites are designed to burn in the atmosphere once they have discontinued. Over the next few days and weeks the satellites will distance themselves from each other and use onboard ion thrusters to make their way into their operational orbit.

Starlink broadband internet opened a public beta test in October in North America, and has since expanded into southern Canada and parts of the United Kingdom. SpaceX announced during the streamed event of Thursday’s launch that it will expand its reach within the U.K. serving more parts of England, Scotland and Wales. Previously, the service was open to southern England. Plans for the network’s global operation are estimated to be completed by late 2021 or early 2022.

Users can currently reserve service with Starlink by signing up on the company’s website.

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