On July 7, SpaceX reused another Falcon 9 rocket a 13th time during a Starlink mission. It is the second time the company achieves that record-breaking reusability record. Reusing a first-stage rocket booster significantly reduces the cost of spaceflight and enables more frequent launches. The previously-flown Falcon 9 lifted off at 9:11 a.m. ET, carrying 53 Starlink satellites to orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. It marked SpaceX’s 50th Starlink mission since 2019.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/x5Lo6JrDmq— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 7, 2022
The first-stage booster that supported this mission is identified as B1058-13; It previously launched SpaceX's first crewed mission (Demo-2) to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2020, the South Korean ANASIS-II satellite, NASA's 21st resupply mission to the ISS (CRS-21), SpaceX's first Transporter-1 rideshare mission, Transporter-3, and now eight Starlink missions. Soon after launching the upper-stage with the 53 Starlink satellites to orbit on Thursday, the booster landed on the 'Just Read the Instructions' droneship for a 13th recovery. It marked the company's 128th landing of an orbital-class rocket and the 100th mission with a previously-flown booster.
The 53 Starlink satellites were released to orbit approximately half-an-hour after liftoff boosting the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 2,759. This satellite cluster are part of the Starlink Group 4-21, which is the 19th fleet of satellites deployed into orbital Shell 4 that consists of arranging a total of 1,584 satellites into 72 orbital planes with 22 satellites in each plane operating at an equatorial inclination of 53.2° degrees and altitude of 540-kilometers (km). So far, SpaceX has launched 19 missions into Shell 4, around 35 launches will be required to complete the orbital shell (see orbital parameter data in the table below). SpaceX already provides internet access to over 500,000 subscribers living across 36 countries. The company recently received approval to operate Starlink aboard moving vehicles, including sea-going vessels, airplanes, trucks, and RVs. Read more in the previous TESMANIAN article, linked below.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.