SpaceX successfully launched and successfully landed a Falcon 9 booster for the seventh time on Tuesday evening.

The mission launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:13 p.m. ET deployed the 16th batch of 60 Starlink satellites for the company's Internet from Space initiative. Here is the start:

Take off! pic.twitter.com/a9O2MqcsCV

– SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 25, 2020

The Falcon 9 booster used for Tuesday's flight previously flew on the Iridium 7 mission in 2019, the Telstar 18 Vantage mission in 2018, and four Starlink missions.

A short time after take-off, the reused first stage booster landed perfectly on the drone ship “Of course I still love you”, which is waiting in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida.

The first stage of Falcon 9 lands on the drone "Of course I still love you!" pic.twitter.com/RZGbgzDBwf

– SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 25, 2020

The 60 Starlink satellites were deployed 15 minutes after the launch. On their way into orbit, the satellites will gradually expand over the coming days and weeks. There are currently almost 1,000 Starlink satellites in low-earth orbit for space-based Internet service. Beta testing is already underway, although thousands more satellites will have to be deployed if SpaceX is to deliver on its promise to offer a truly global broadband service from space.

The deployment of 60 Starlink satellites has been confirmed pic.twitter.com/Ddg9EPn5gP

– SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 25, 2020

The two halves of the missile fairing (or nose cone) also returned to Earth, with the net-fitted Ms. Chief ship in place to catch one half and the salvage ship GO Searcher, which has no net, Waiting for it to scoop the other half out of the water. This was the third outing for one of the fairing halves and the second for the other. We are still waiting for confirmation that Ms. Chief managed to catch the disguise, although it can still be pulled out of the water and reused if it missed the net on the descent.

Tuesday's mission is further evidence of SpaceX's ability to develop a reusable missile system for lower-cost space missions. The restoration of boosters, fairing halves and capsules of the first stage of Falcon 9 (for cargo or crew missions to the International Space Station) is now regularly achieved during their missions. SpaceX engineers are currently looking for ways to save the Falcon 9 rocket's second stage booster. However, this is a more difficult process overall, since it has to be shut down after reaching the rotational speed and from a greater height.

Editor's recommendations




LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here