Cape Canaveral, Flat. SpaceX Delivered a new set of its Starlink satellites to orbit today (September) and nailed a rocket landing after a delay.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rockets The full load of 60 Starlink satellites was lifted from EDT (1246 GMT) at 8:46 a.m. on Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The first phase of the booster returned to Earth about 9 minutes after launch, landing on a SpaceX drone in the Atlantic Ocean.
This was the third attempt to get this special mission off the ground after the weather and data review delays. The first sign of the launch Starlink This month’s mission and SpaceX’s 16th mission so far in 2020. With the company’s fleet of flight-proof boosters busy this summer, the California-based rocket builder has reached a new milestone on its previous Starlink flight: Start and unload the first stage booster six times at the same time.
After a week of stormy weather, it was nothing more than a sunny sky and clear weather for a perfect start. The onlookers raised their voices at the noise of the engines.
“What a beautiful sight,” said Kate Tais, an engineer and launch commentator at SpaceX, who said the satellites ran smoothly after the deployment.
SpaceX initially planned to do one Run the doubleheader On Sunday (August 30), two different Falcon 9Ss launched from the company’s Florida-based launch pad – the first for a private spaceflight company. However, those plans were thwarted Bad weather conditions Produced by strong storms during the summer in the area.
The weather was so bad over the weekend that reporters weren’t able to set up a photo remote camera to launch either. In general, SpaceX allows members of the media to go to the launch pad (before the lift off) to place cameras near the rocket that will take photos at launch.
Photographers have a small window of time to install the camera, so as not to disrupt prelaunch activities. Unfortunately, Starlink setup and SAOCOM-1B Mission, Weather officials identified lightning around the pads and could not allow anyone to get out, so no cameras were installed.
But the weather delay gave new hope for the Starlink mission (and a new opportunity for photos), as the updated forecast improved dramatically and the Falcon 9 was able to land.
The booster on display in today’s flight is the latest from SpaceX. Nominated B1060 (an internal identifier), the booster first flew a little more two months ago Upgraded GPS III Satellite upgraded For the United States Space Force.
The launch, which took off from Space Launch Complex 40 on June 30 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, marked the first mission for the U.S. military to allow SpaceX to retrieve its first-stage booster. Historically, missions like GPS III have included cost-boosters that SpaceX has thrown into the sea. However, the company was allowed to launch the booster for him.
The B1060 is the latest addition to SpaceX’s frequent flyer fleet. About nine minutes after the lift off, the first stage made another landing, the SpaceX drone ship “CF of course I still love you.”
The landing today marked the 60th recovery of the Falcon’s first leg. SpaceX Regained its first booster in 2015 And the booster has worked to make landing look easier. Earlier this year, SpaceX upgraded its second drone ship, “Just Read the Directions,” and began using it to help catch boosters out in the Atlantic Ocean.
The submarine, which was previously stationed on the West Coast, has enabled SpaceX to speed up its launch and recover more rockets.
SpaceX hopes that its StarLink megaconation will provide global broadband coverage, especially for people in rural and remote areas. To connect to the fleet of broadband satellites, SpaceX has developed a small terminal (approximately the size of a laptop) for users on Earth.
Included in the 60 satellites launched on the mission are SpaceX, which marks the 12th Starlink flight since May 2019. SpaceX has launched more than 700 Internet-beaming satellites into space. Alan Musk, founder and CEO of the company, said that Bit Rabbit needs to have 500 to 800 satellites before the service can start.
But SpaceX is rapidly testing its growing space-based Internet service, and during the mission’s webcast, Tais said the data collected so far show that the service will provide faster download speeds.
Of SpaceX Starlink Megaconstellation Already the world’s largest fleet of satellites, but hundreds more will be launched in the coming months as the company works to complete its initial network of 1,440 satellites. To that end, the company’s representatives say about six flat-panel satellites are built every day at its facilities in Washington state, and they estimate that the 60-satellite Starlink mission will launch every two to three weeks. Can.
The US Federal Communications Commission has approved SpaceX to launch about 12,000 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit, giving customers high-speed, low-latency Internet.
However Not everyone is happy About the promise of connecting the world of SpaceX. The project has been a thorn in the side of astronomers and skywatchers ever since the first satellite was launched. This is because the Starlink satellites were much brighter than anyone expected. When they reach the first bit of rabbit, they look like a train of bright dots parked in the night sky (although this dramatic scene is scattered as the satellite’s equipment rotates).
Astronomers need dark skies to create images of distant galaxies and stars and other celestial objects. Scientists around the world are worried that bright satellites will disrupt scientific surveillance. SpaceX is working with the astronomy community to help resolve this issue.
This is the second set of Starlink satellites to be built with a special vision – Called a sunshade – To reduce your apparent brightness. The visor prevents sunlight from reflecting into the brightest parts of the satellite, such as the antenna.
Before launching its Internet service, SpaceX has begun giving potential users the opportunity to test their StarLink network before launching a commercial service. Selected users have already started beta-testing Service Now, however, many more satellites could end the launch before connecting the world of Musk and SpaceX.
Proper recovery efforts
In 2015, SpaceX changed the rocket game by proving that it could reuse the most expensive part of the rocket: the first stage. According to Muscat, this huge piece of hardware accounts for the bulk of the Falcon 9’s total value. But SpaceX is not satisfied. In an effort to further reduce the cost of the launch, the company has developed two giant nail boats to assist in this. Recover and reuse its payload fairings, Catching them when they fall back to earth.
Historically, hardware like a clam shell (also called a rocket’s nose cone) has been thrown into the sea, never to be used again. But in order to increase its reusable efforts, SpaceX has developed a tool for every piece of equipment – parachute and software – to slowly land at sea. (SpaceX will fall back to Earth in two pieces.)
SpaceX seeks to limit the exposure of fairings in seawater to facilitate the reuse of this delicate piece of hardware. Together, the two fairing halves cost about million 1 million, which is a huge amount of money to save if SpaceX could use them again and again. Therefore, SpaceX usually sends two of its aircraft – Geo Miss Tree and Geo Mrs. Chief – Pull out each launch to catch the fairing pieces or to pull them out of the water immediately after landing.
Just because a giant net doesn’t mean that one (or both boats) will actually be able to Make a catchHowever, weather also plays a role.
SpaceX had to split its dynamic net-equipped duo over the weekend when the company planned two launches the same day. Geo was able to pull both pieces of Mrs. Chief Sacom-1B out of the ocean and back to SpaceX’s facilities at Port Canaveral with a safe port.
The ship then sailed back to sea, connected with its mate, already stationed in the Atlantic and awaiting today’s Starlink mission. All recovery efforts (either a catch or a scoop) are expected to occur approximately 40 minutes after the lift off.
Follow Amy Thomson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Follow us on Twitter Spacedotcom or Facebook