SpaceX Sends Off Batch of Starlink Satellites Successfully

Anurag Sharma
Anurag Sharma

Updated · Jul 18, 2022

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SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Sunday at 10:20 a.m. ET (1420 GMT). 53 Starlink internet satellites joined it. SpaceX’s fourth launch is in 10 days. SpaceX’s 31st launch was in 2022. SpaceX’s drone vessel, located downrange in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral, received the Falcon 9 booster.
The rocket headed north-eastwards from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. It aimed to deliver flat-packed broadband stations to an orbit of 144 to 210 mi (232-by-338 kilometers). After lift-off, 53 flat-packed satellites were deployed from Falcon 9’s upper stage. It took approximately 15 minutes.
Sunday’s 4-22 launch marked SpaceX’s 2,858th Starlink internet satellite mission. SpaceX also launched prototypes and test units that are no longer in operation.

Thursday’s launch marked the 51st SpaceX mission dedicated solely to transporting Starlink internet Satellites into orbit.
SpaceX’s launch squad was stationed in a firing room of a launch center south of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The launch team loaded super-chilled, densified, kerosene, and liquid oxygen propellants onto the Falcon 9 vehicle. It took them just 35 minutes to complete.
The rocket also received helium pressure during the countdown. Falcon 9’s Merlin key engines were thermally equipped for flight during the final seven minutes of the countdown.

The Falcon 9 rocket took off after lift-off and vectored its 1.7million pounds of thrust, generated by nine Merlin engines, to steer northeast above the Atlantic Ocean.
The rocket surpassed the speed limit in approximately one minute and off its nine main engine engines two and a half minutes following lift-off. The Falcon 9’s booster phase was released from the upper stage. After that, the rocket fired pulses from cold-gas control thrusters and extended fins made of titanium to steer it back into the atmosphere.

Two braking fires caused the rocket to slow down and land on the drone ship, “Just Read the Instructions,” approximately 400 miles (650km) downrange. It took eight and a half seconds for the rocket’s lift off.
SpaceX’s fleet includes several older reusable rockets, including the booster tail number B1051. It flew Sunday. It was launched in March 2019, with the first unpiloted test flight by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. It has also established SiriusXM SXM 7 radio broadcasting Satellite, Canada’s Radarsat Constellation Mission, and nine Starlink missions.

Sunday’s mission saw B1051 become SpaceX’s third booster to reach the milestone of 13 flights. SpaceX has now certified Falcon 9 boosters to perform at least 15 tasks, an increase from the 10 flight certifications.
After the Falcon 9’s second-stage engine was shut off to deliver Starlink satellites into orbit, the Falcon 9’s first stage landed on Sunday. T+plus 15 min, 28 seconds confirmed separation of 53 SpaceX spacecraft built in Redmond, Washington by SpaceX.

Starlink payload stack’s retention rods were released, allowing flat-packed satellites to be free of the Falcon 9’s upper stage in orbit. The 53 spacecraft will unfold solar arrays and go through automated activation steps. After that, they will use krypton-fuelled ion engines for maneuvering into operational orbit.

The Falcon 9’s guidance program directed the satellites into an orbital orbit at 53.2 degrees to the Equator. The satellites will then use onboard propulsion to complete the remaining work required to achieve a circular orbit at 335 miles (540 km) above Earth.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellites will glide in one or five orbital “shells” at various inclinations to provide access to the global internet network. The satellites will reach operational orbit and start beaming broadband signals to consumers. They can be purchased through Starlink service and connected to the network via a SpaceX-supplied ground terminal.

Anurag Sharma

Anurag Sharma

He has been helping in business of varied scales, with key strategic decisions. He is a specialist in healthcare, medical devices, and life-science, and has accurately predicted the trends in the market. Anurag is a fervent traveller, and is passionate in exploring untouched places and locations. In his free time, he loves to introspect and plan ahead.