SpaceX fires off 49 extra Starlinks in rapid-fire launch sequence

Maintaining a rapid-fire launch tempo, SpaceX fired off its third Falcon 9 of the yr Tuesday, boosting one other 49 Starlink web satellites into orbit as the corporate continues constructing out a globe-spanning community of economic broadband relay stations.

The Falcon 9, utilizing a primary stage making its tenth flight, thundered to life and climbed away from historic pad 39A on the Kennedy Area Middle at 9:02 p.m. ET, arcing over a full moon because it headed out on a southeasterly trajectory tilted 53 levels to the equator.

A time publicity captures the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket over a full moon Tuesday because it climbed away from historic pad 39A on the Kennedy Area Middle. It was SpaceX’s 121st Florida launch, however solely the sixth taking off on a southeasterly trajectory.

William Harwood/CBS Information

After boosting the rocket out of the decrease environment, the primary stage fell away and flew itself again to touchdown on an off-shore droneship. It was SpaceX’s 103rd profitable restoration and its 79th at sea.

The second stage slipped into its deliberate orbit a couple of seconds later and all 49 Starlinks have been launched to fly on their very own a couple of minutes after that.

The exhaust plume of the Falcon 9’s second stage engine expands within the low-pressure atmosphere of the acute higher environment, making a ghostly cloud. The rocket’s first stage could be seen at left, together with the 2 halves of the rocket’s discarded nostril cone fairing.

SpaceX webcast

The launching was the third to this point this yr for SpaceX, following one other Starlink flight January 6 and a “rideshare” mission January 13 that put 105 small satellites in orbit.

Going into Tuesday’s flight, SpaceX had launched 1,993 Starlinks, of which 1,741 have been regarded as useful. The corporate has regulatory approval to launch greater than 12,000 Starlinks to offer space-based industrial web entry to prospects anyplace on the planet.

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