0

Your Cart is Empty

A previously-flown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully deploys Starlink and Planet satellites

by Evelyn Arevalo June 13, 2020

A previously-flown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully deploys Starlink and Planet satellites

Early morning on Saturday (June 13), SpaceX performed its first SmallSat Rideshare Program mission contracted by Planet Labs. The Rideshare program gives companies a much affordable option to launch small payloads into orbit by sharing spacecraft with a main payload -which in this case it was a batch of 58 Starlink satellites. Booking an entire rocket flight can cost around $60 million, but under SpaceX's SmallSat Rideshare Program launch price is approximately $1 million.

A previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket lifted off a trio of Planet’s SkySats alongside the batch of Starlink satellites into orbit at around 5:21 a.m. Eastern Time (EDT), from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. During the mission’s live broadcast, a SpaceX commentator said –"Liftoff of Falcon 9 and Starlink Ocho!" –  which means ‘Starlink 8’ in Spanish.

 

 

The Falcon 9 rocket’s first-stage booster, production number B1059, has now flown a total of 3 times. It previously launched 2 resupply missions for NASA to the International Space Station (ISS), CRS-19 in December 2019, and CRS-20 in March of this year. Approximately 8 and a half minutes after liftoff, B1059 was recovered for the third time – it deployed the payload second stage to orbit as the rocket first-stage booster returned into Earth’s atmosphere and performed a controlled vertical landing on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship situated in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX is currently the only company capable of recovering orbital-class rockets to reuse again. To date, the company has successfully recovered 54 first-stage boosters. SpaceX engineers aim to re-fly a particular first-stage rocket booster 10 times. And hope to eventually accomplish re-flying a rocket as many as 100 times before retirement. So far, they have only launched and landed the same booster 5 times.

 

 

Today, on its third flight, rocket B1059 carried the trio of SkySat into low Earth orbit about 12 minutes after liftoff. SkySats are about the size of a household washing machine, so, they each deployed individually -one after the other (as seen in the video below). At around 26 minutes after liftoff, SpaceX’s batch of 58 internet-beaming Starlink satellites all deployed. Now, SpaceX owns the largest satellite constellation with a total of 540 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit. Starlink satellites are relatively small compared to other satellites, they are flat about the size of the top of an office desk. SpaceX plans to deploy 12,000 Starlink satellites to offer affordable broadband internet worldwide to fund missions to the moon and Mars.

 

 

Planet’s 3 SkySats will take high-resolution photographs of Earth from space. The company also booked another Rideshare launch to deploy 3 more Earth-imaging satellites on a future Starlink mission, which is scheduled for July. The next Starlink launch will also share a rocket with another customer: Seattle-based BlackSky Global, which has booked a Rideshare ride for 2 of its Earth-observing satellites. 

 

 




Also in Tesmanian Blog

Test Production of Tesla Vehicles with New 4680 Battery Pack Has Already Begun
Test Production of Tesla Vehicles with New 4680 Battery Pack Has Already Begun

by Eva Fox September 27, 2020 0 Comments

Tesla already has battery cell packs that are installed in some Tesla vehicles and they have been on the road for several months now. 
Read More
A Tesla Rally Racing School & Resort Looks to Blend Rugged Fun with Tranquility
A Tesla Rally Racing School & Resort Looks to Blend Rugged Fun with Tranquility

by Eva Fox September 27, 2020 0 Comments

Several businessmen have teamed up to create something extraordinary: A Tesla Rally Racing School With Resort. In Mariposa, CA, about 35 miles west of Yosemite National Park's Arch Rock entrance, where there is no road—only dirt and trees, rocks and cows—Willie Morris, Gary Vaynerchuk, John Cahalin and David Taylorare planning a large-scale resort centered on an electric vehicle park and an off-road driving school.
Read More
Axiom will seal the deal with SpaceX & NASA for Tom Cruise's voyage to the Space Station
Axiom will seal the deal with SpaceX & NASA for Tom Cruise's voyage to the Space Station

by Evelyn Arevalo September 26, 2020 0 Comments

Hollywood actor Tom Cruise does not shy away from adventure. He is known for performing his own stunts in action films. He is now preparing to film a movie in outer space.
Read More

Previous  / Next