SpaceX launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets for the thirteenth time today (June 17), setting a new record for reuse.
the two stages Falcon 9 It took off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida today at 12:09 p.m. EDT (1609 GMT), with 53 SpaceX on board. starlink Internet satellites into orbit. was the first to Three missile launches in three days From three different platforms SpaceX plans to withdraw.
The 53 satellites were deployed into low Earth orbit about 15.5 minutes after launch, as planned. But there was work before that, too: About 8.5 minutes after liftoff, the first stage of the Falcon 9 descended to Earth for a vertical landing on SpaceX The drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
This was the thirteenth launch and landing of the first stage of the Falcon 9, setting a new record for SpaceX reuse. The boost previously helped place a GPS satellite, a Turkish communications satellite, and an assortment of spacecraft on the Transporter 2 “rideshare” mission and nine batches of Starlink, according to Description of the SpaceX mission (Opens in a new tab).
This comprehensive update is a huge priority for SpaceX and its billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk. Musk has repeatedly said that rapid and complete reuse is the key breakthrough that will allow humanity to settle on Mars and achieve a variety of other ambitious spaceflight feats.
Starlink is SpaceX’s constellation of Internet satellites. The company has now launched More than 2,700 Starlink vehicles into orbit (Opens in a new tab), and the number will continue to increase far into the future; The next generation version of the network can eventually consist of Up to 30,000 satellites (Opens in a new tab).
Today’s mission began with a planned three-armed rocket for SpaceX, which also plans to launch a German army radar satellite on Saturday morning (June 18) and a commercial communications satellite early Sunday (June 19).
This intense 36-hour stretch will continue in a very busy year for SpaceX. The company has already launched 24 missions in 2022, 15 of which are for Starlink flights.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 12:30PM EDT (1630 GMT) on June 17th with news of the successful missile take-off and landing and satellite deployment.
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed (Opens in a new tab) or on Facebook (Opens in a new tab).