SpaceX launched 60 more StarLink Internet relay platforms on Orbit on Sunday, as the company accelerated network testing in Washington state and failed nearly 300 satellites launched since June 300 with no spacecraft.
Nine Merlin 1D engines drove the Falcon 9 rocket away from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:25:57 EDT (1225: 57 GMT) and marked the 14th Falcon 9 mission, which satellites for SpaceX Was dedicated to deploy. Starlink Broadband Network.
Kerosene-filled engines produced a thrust of 1.7 million pounds as the Thrust 9 rocket diverted north-east from the Space Coast of Florida. Two-and-a-half minutes later, the first-stage boosters shut down their engines and began landing in the Atlantic Ocean toward SpaceX’s drone ship “Course I Still Love You”.
The second-stage single Merlin engine ignited to continue the mission in orbit, and the Falcon 9’s two-piece nose shroud took approximately three and a half minutes in flight.
A 15-story first-stage booster made its landing on a SpaceX drone ship about 400 miles (630 kilometers) northeast of Cape Canaveral. It was the sixth trip to space and back for the special booster – designated B1051 – after its launch on an unannounced test flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft in March 2019.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket has successfully landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean.
This marks the 62nd recovery of a Falcon rocket booster and the sixth landing for this phase.
Continuous coverage: https://t.co/B5TzWEpreQ pic.twitter.com/BzBcvQdqo5
– Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) October 18, 2020
At the same time, the Falcon 9’s upper stage delivered 60 Starlink Internet satellites into early orbit. The upper stage engine later ruled to maneuver the payload up to 172 miles (278 kilometers) above the Earth in a circular orbit, with a 53-degree tilt of the equator.
60 flat-panel satellites split from the rocket at 9:29 am EDT (1329 GMT) to conclude SpaceX’s 70th straight successful mission. A camera on the upper platform showed 60 satellites – each with a mass of about a quarter-ton – flying Falcon 9 over the Indian Ocean.
Andy Tran, a production supervisor at SpaceX, said, “Great way to start on Sunday. The company’s launch webcast was hosted on Sunday.”
SpaceX said its two fairing recovery ships caught both halves of the fair from Sunday’s launch as clamshells returned to Earth under parachutes. Traps on one of the ships gave way as fairings settled in the orbit, but SpaceX said its ocean-going recovery team was fine.
With the satellites launched on Sunday, SpaceX has orbited 835 Starlink broadband relay stations, including prototypes that will not be used for commercial service. Increases SpaceX’s leadership in operating the largest fleet of satellites in orbit.
The new StarLink spacecraft, built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, was expected to unfollow solar panels and activate Krypton ion thrusters, allowing them to start increasing their altitude by about 341 miles (550 kilometers), where they would broadband Will start providing service.
SpaceX’s 60 new Starlink Internet satellites have been deployed with the Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX says ships in the Atlantic caught both parts of the rocket’s payload fairing, but traps gave way on one of the ships. The recovery team is fine, SpaceX says. http: //t.co/B5TzWEpreQ pic.twitter.com/L1tTgVyDED
– Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) October 18, 2020
SpaceX plans to operate an initial block of approximately 1,500 Starlink satellites in orbits 341 miles above Earth. The company, founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has approval from the Federal Communications Commission to field a fleet of 12,000 small Starlink broadband stations ultimately operating in Ku-band, K-band and V-band frequencies.
There are also preliminary plans for a large fleet of 30,000 additional Starlink satellites, but a network of that size has not been authorized by the FCC.
SpaceX says that the Starlink network – designed for low-latency Internet service – is “still in its early stages” and engineers continue to test the system to collect latency data and speed tests. In an FCC filing dated October 13, SpaceX said it has begun beta testing the Starlink network in several US states, and is providing Internet connectivity to previously unreserved students in rural areas.
On September 28, Washington’s military department announced that it was using the Stardein Internet service as emergency responders and residents in Malden, Washington, recovering from a wildfire, Which destroys most of the city.
Earlier this month, Washington government officials said the Hoh tribe was starting to use the Starlink service. SpaceX said it recently installed Starlink Ground terminals in an administrative building and about 20 private homes on the Hoh Tribe Reservation.
“We are very remote,” said Melvinjon Eshu, vice president of the Hoh tribe. “In the last eight years, I have felt that we are bridging the river with a spoon and not getting internet for reservation almost anywhere.
“It seemed that out of nowhere, SpaceX just came and transported us into the 21st century,” said Ashu on 7 October. “Our youth are able to do education in the line, participate in videos. Tele-health is no longer an issue, as well as tele-mental health.
In an FCC filing last week, representatives from SpaceX wrote that the company had successfully launched and operated nearly 300 new StarLink spacecraft since June without fail.
“SpaceX continues to invest in its rapid network deployment, including launching more than 120 satellites every month and installing ground infrastructure across the country,” SpaceX told the FCC.
SpaceX appears to be on pace to launch more than 120 satellites in the month of October.
The company added 60 satellites to the Starlink network with the Falcon 9 launch Oct. 6, and placed another 60 spacecraft on Sunday. A Falcon 9 rocket is temporarily scheduled from Pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 12:36 pm EDT (1636 GMT) with another swarm of Starlink satellites.
Email the author
Follow Stephen Clarke on Twitter: @ StephenClark1.