SpaceX launched one other huge batch of its Starlink web satellites to orbit and landed a rocket on a ship at sea on Tuesday (Aug. 9).
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket topped with 52 Starlink spacecraft lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy House Middle in Florida Tuesday at 10:14 p.m. EDT (0214 GMT on Aug. 10).
Rather less than 9 minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage got here again to Earth for a vertical touchdown on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed within the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.
The Falcon 9 higher stage, in the meantime, continued powering its solution to low Earth orbit, finally deploying the Starlink satellites as deliberate about quarter-hour after liftoff, SpaceX confirmed via Twitter (opens in new tab).
Associated: SpaceX’s Starlink megaconstellation launches in photographs
Starlink is SpaceX’s web megaconstellation, which beams broadband service to tons of of 1000’s of individuals all over the world. Elon Musk’s firm has now launched greater than 3,000 Starlink satellites (opens in new tab) to orbit, however many extra will probably go up; SpaceX has permission to loft 12,000 of the craft and has utilized for approval to launch 30,000 extra on high of that.
Tonight’s launch was the corporate’s twenty first Starlink mission of 2022 and its thirty fifth orbital flight of the yr general, including to a SpaceX file. The corporate’s earlier mark for many orbital missions in a yr was 31, set in 2021.
Rocket reuse is an enormous precedence for SpaceX, which views it as a breakthrough that can assist make Mars colonization possible.
The Falcon 9 first stage that flew on Tuesday already had two spaceflights underneath its belt, in accordance with a SpaceX mission description (opens in new tab). That is spectacular, however it’s removed from the SpaceX file; three totally different Falcon 9 boosters have launched 13 orbital missions thus far.
The Starlink launch was a part of a really lively day for SpaceX. Additionally at the moment, the corporate carried out “static fireplace” engine checks at its South Texas facility with Booster 7 and Ship 24, prototypes of its Starship deep-space transportation system.
SpaceX is making ready Booster 7 and Ship 24 for the Starship program’s first-ever orbital take a look at flight, which the corporate goals to launch within the coming months.
Editor’s be aware: This story was up to date at 4:20 p.m. EDT on Aug. 9 to incorporate the webcast data and to right the anticipated time of satellite tv for pc deployment (to roughly quarter-hour after liftoff, relatively than an hour). It was up to date once more at 10:43 p.m. EDT with information of the profitable launch and touchdown and the Booster 7 and Ship 24 static fireplace checks.
Mike Wall is the creator of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a ebook concerning the seek for alien life. Comply with him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Fb (opens in new tab).