A SpaceX Falcon 9 The rocket flew for an unprecedented 12th time on Saturday (March 19) and returned to Earth for another successful landing.
The two-stage Falcon 9 lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 12:42 a.m. EDT (0442 GMT) Saturday, with 53 SpaceX on board. starlink Internet satellites in low Earth orbit.
This was the twelfth launch of the first stage of the Falcon 9, setting a new record for the reuse of a SpaceX rocket. The booster previously lifted the CSA’s RADARSAT Constellation mission in June 2019; SpaceX’s first manned flight, The Experimental mission 2 to the International Space Station, in May 2020; SiriusXM’s SXM-7 satellite in December 2020; and eight other Starlink missions, SpaceX representatives wrote in a Job description.
The first stage also reached its twelfth landing, landing in a delicate landing about nine minutes after takeoff aboard the Just Read The Instructions drone, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
The second stage continued to carry the 53 Starlink spacecraft into their designated orbit, publishing them all about an hour after liftoff.
Prior to today’s mission, SpaceX launched 2,282 Starlink satellites, 2,033 of which are currently operating, According to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.
Constellation Broadband serves customers all over the world, including Ukraine, whose communications infrastructure has been damaged by the invasion of Russian forces. Owns SpaceX Send Starlink stations and other equipment to the war-torn nation, a move that was so Applauded by grateful Ukrainian government officials.
Starlink’s network hasn’t quite finished growing, as Saturday morning’s launch shows. SpaceX wants to get much bigger, in fact: The company has permission to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites, and has applied for approval from an international regulator to launch an additional 30,000 satellites on top of that.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 1AM EDT (0500 GMT) on March 19 with news of the successful launch and missile landing, and then again at 2:09 AM ET (0609 GMT) with news of the publication Satellites.
Mike Wall is the author of “AbroadBook (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed or on Facebook.