SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Records Turnaround, Closes Launch of 1000 Starlink Satellites

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Records Turnaround, Closes Launch of 1000 Starlink Satellites

SpaceX successfully completed the launch of its 14th Starlink v1.0, less than a year after the start of operational flights, and at the same time set its own world record for an orbital rocket turnaround.

Following the unusual 48-hour delay, SpaceX said it had double-checked that the minor Falcon 9 second step camera issue did not reveal any deeper glitches. The rocket was ultimately launched at 11:31 AM EDT (15:31 UTC). On SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) LC-40 pad. As usual, 60 Starlink v1.0 satellites (approximately 16 metric tons (~35,000 lb)) were loaded inside the payload fairing installed above the consumable stage 2 of the Falcon 9.

Two and a half minutes after take-off, the Falcon 9 booster B1060 shuts off the nine Merlin 1D engines and immediately flips the engine over towards the landing target after being disconnected in the second phase. The second stage ignites the Merlin Vacuum (MVac) engine after a few seconds, burning towards the first low earth parking orbit for six minutes. Thirty seconds before the second engine shutdown (SECO-1), the booster B1060 lit the central Merlin 1D engine and slowed it down to landing the Bullseye in a drone spacecraft. .

The Falcon 9 booster B1060 went through a vacuum towards the drone spacecraft JRTI, acting as the rocket’s payload pairing jets, to uncover 60 new Starlink satellites, and the MVac burned into orbit. (SpaceX)

In the case of a reusable rocket, its turnaround record indicates the time between two orbital fires with the same vehicle (Falcon 9 booster B1060 in this case). The SpaceX rocket has succeeded in launching two separate missions: Starlink-11 and Starlink-14. In just 51 days, 2 hours and 45 minutes, I missed the record of the Falcon 9 booster B1058 in 37 minutes.

Had SpaceX been able to avoid the three-day delay, the Starlink-14 would have been able to make the B1060 break the B1058’s record for three days. Ultimately, the competition is almost entirely iconic, as SpaceX effectively monopolizes its reusable orbital-class launch capabilities and will almost inevitably continue to beat its own record as it grows to become the world’s leading expert in the field of reusable rockets.

The B1058 now sets the world record when it launched ANASIS II 51.08 days after sending Crew Dragon and two NASA astronauts into orbit. (Richard Angle)

The Starlink-14 launch and landing of the B1060 marks the 63rd time SpaceX successfully landed the Falcon booster, as well as the 55th orbital launch, including the 43rd mission using SpaceX’s successful booster landing and flight-proven rockets. Starlink-14, including the Falcon 1 and Falcon Heavy, marked the 100th successful launch of SpaceX after the company’s first success in September 2008.

As of October 24, SpaceX launched an astonishing 895 Starlink satellites in 17 months. (SpaceX)

If all 60 Starlink-14 satellites are able to reach their final orbit, SpaceX will soon have a constellation of more than 800 communication satellites. Perhaps at a distance of only 3 launches across 1000 satellite markers. Each deployment of Starlink satellites, which typically records an average daily increase in orbital altitude of 6 km (3.7 miles), takes about 30-60 days to reach working orbit and join the rest of the fleet. SpaceX has already indicated that the first public Starlink beta test will begin once the Starlink-13 satellite is operational. This will cross in November.

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About the Author: Max Grant

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