Falcon 9 launches Starlink satellites – SpaceNews

WASHINGTON — SpaceX efficiently launched one other set of Starlink satellites Feb. Four within the first of back-to-back Falcon 9 launches scheduled from Cape Canaveral.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 1:19 a.m. Jap from Area Launch Advanced 40 at Cape Canaveral Area Power Station. Its payload of 60 Starlink satellites separated from the rocket’s higher stage 65 minutes later.

The rocket’s first stage landed on a droneship within the Atlantic Ocean eight and a half minutes after liftoff. The booster was on its fifth flight, having been used most lately for the launch of the Turksat 5A satellite Jan. 8.

The launch is the primary of two back-to-back Falcon 9 Starlink missions from Florida. A second Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch Feb. 5 from Launch Advanced 39A on the Kennedy Area Middle, additionally carrying 60 Starlink satellites.

For a time, SpaceX deliberate launching each rockets Feb. 4, lower than 4 and a half hours aside. The corporate stated late Feb. 2 that the launch doubleheader was pending favorable climate and vary approvals. Whereas the 45th Area Wing introduced Feb. three that it authorized SpaceX’s launch plans, the corporate introduced later that day it was delaying the launch from LC-39A, which had been scheduled for five:36 a.m. Jap, by a day for added pre-launch checks.

The final time two launches befell from the Jap Vary, which incorporates Cape Canaveral Area Power Station and KSC, in a single day was in November 1966, with launches of NASA’s Gemini 12 mission and its Atlas Agena docking goal 99 minutes aside. SpaceX proposed finishing up two Falcon 9 launches in sooner or later in August 2020, however one of many two launches was scrubbed by climate.

This launch brings the full variety of Starlink satellites in orbit to 1,022, in accordance with statistics kept by Jonathan McDowell of the Middle for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. The corporate handed the milestone of 1,000 Starlink satellites launched final month, however greater than 60 of these satellites have deorbited since their launches.

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