Featured Image Source: SpaceX
SpaceX plans to roll-out Starlink satellite broadband internet before this year ends in portions of the Northern United States and Canada. The Starlink constellation will initially consist of 4,409 internet-beaming satellites operating in low Earth orbit, where they will beam connection globally. To date, SpaceX has deployed around 708 satellites. Company officials previously said the constellation will require at least 800 satellites to provide “moderate” broadband coverage. SpaceX is ready to deploy the thirteenth fleet of satellites tomorrow. –“Targeting Monday, September 28 at 10:22 a.m. EDT for Falcon 9’s launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A in Florida,” the company announced.
Targeting Monday, September 28 at 10:22 a.m. EDT for Falcon 9’s launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A in Florida— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 27, 2020
The historic Falcon 9 booster that conducted SpaceX’s first crewed spaceflight will deploy the Starlink satellites tomorrow morning. On May 30th, a new Falcon 9 rocket sporting NASA’s retro red ‘worm’ logo, lifted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying veteran astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft (video below). The mission returned crewed flights to the United States after nearly a decade. The first-stage booster, production number B1058, propelled Dragon into orbit, and around nine minutes after liftoff it returned from space, landing vertically atop the Of Course I Still Love You autonomous droneship at sea.
The historic booster also deployed the ANASIS-II communications satellite for South Korea on July 30th – just 51 days after propelling the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station with Behnken and Hurley aboard. After the ANASIS-II satellite was deployed, B1058 returned from space, it landed on the Just Read The Instructionsdroneship.
B1058 features scorch marks from reentering Earth’s atmosphere twice. Now, the booster is ready to fly a third time on Monday at 10:22 a.m. from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. SpaceX will attempt to recover B1058 a third time. Around nine minutes after liftoff, the historic Falcon 9 will return from space to land on the Just Read The Instructions droneship again. If successful, the special rocket will be able to fly a fourth time on a future mission.
SpaceX is the only aerospace company in the world that has achieved landing orbital-class rockets 60 times, as part of its reusability program to significantly reduce the cost of spaceflight. To date, around ten previously-flown Falcon 9 rockets have conducted multiple missions, the most a booster has flown is 6 times. Engineers aim to accomplish launching a particular Falcon 9 first-stage booster 10 times. SpaceX officials state that Falcon 9 [Block 5] “is capable of at least 100 flights.”