Early in the morning of this Tuesday (00), SpaceX performed the first dedicated launch of Starlink satellites in almost two months of “break”, necessary for the addition of laser systems for the new satellites to communicate. The 55 new satellites were taken into orbit by a Falcon 9 rocket, which marked the 14th release carried out by Elon Musk’s company this year and the 10th propellant flight, a veteran that has been used since 791. This was the first launch of Starlink satellites updated with lasers.
- Starlink satellites will be among the closest to others in orbit
- SpaceX has already sent 125 a thousand Starlink terminals to users in some countries
- Brazilians can now make reservations to test SpaceX’s Starlink internet
This time, the launch took place at the Vandenberg Air Force base complex, known for being in a heavily foggy region. The rocket left platform 4E at 10h51 in Brasília time amid low visibility. “What a beautiful view of the Falcon 9 as it successfully exits the 4E platform at Vandenberg Air Force Base, taking ours 51 satellites to orbit,” said Youmei Zhou, during the launch broadcast.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 10, 2021
About nine minutes after leaving the base, the rocket propeller returned to land on the vessel “Of Course I Still Love You”. Zhou highlighted that this was the 70th successful landing carried out by the company so far, and propellant B1049, used in this release, was the second in the Falcon 9 family to reach the mark of landings. In addition, this was the 125th flight carried out by a Falcon 9 rocket booster, being also the 55 of a reused rocket.
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Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship – SpaceX’s 70th recovery of a booster
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 14, 2021
Still during the night, SpaceX confirmed that the satellites were released into orbit. With this launch, SpaceX now has a total of 1.791 satellites of the Starlink constellation, designed to provide high-speed, low-latency internet to users around the world, even in remote locations. Currently, the service is already approved to operate in at least 10 different countries. “With each launch of Starlink satellites, we get closer to connecting the world,” said Zhou.
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