Congrats to SpaceX Team on 3 perfect orbital launches within 36 hours!!!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 17, 2022
SpaceX veteran Falcon 9 rocket launches SES O3b mPOWER missionhttps://t.co/IcEBSylX2S— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) December 17, 2022
Today, Saturday, December 17, SpaceX launched another Starlink mission from Florida. The company reused a Falcon 9 rocket a record-breaking 15th time. It lifted off at 4:32 p.m. ET (1:32 p.m. PT) from Launch Complex-39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, carrying a batch of 54 Starlink satellites to orbit.
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/nOImtbIbpr— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 17, 2022
The previously-flown Falcon 9 first-stage booster that performed the Starlink Group 4-37 mission is identified as B1058-15; it has flown 15 times. It previously launched: SpaceX’s first NASA astronaut demonstration mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in May 2020, it then launched the South Korean ANASIS-II satellite, the 21st NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) mission to ISS, SpaceX’s first rideshare-dedicated mission known as Transporter-1, then it launched Transporter-3, and ten Starlink missions. Reusing orbital-class rockets has made SpaceX the leader in the aerospace industry. The innovative feat enables the company to increase the pace of spaceflight in a cost-effective manner. Booster B1058-15 was recovered a 15th time in order to be reused; it landed on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ autonomous droneship, around 8-minutes after liftoff. It marked SpaceX’s 158 landing of an orbital-class rocket and the 132 time it reused a rocket’s first-stage.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, completing the 15th launch and landing of this booster! pic.twitter.com/0AXCXTSPRb— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 17, 2022
The 54 Starlink Group 4-37 satellites were deployed by Falcon 9’s upper-stage to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) around 15-minutes after liftoff. The mission is SpaceX’s 65th operational Starlink mission. SInce 2019 he company has deployed a total of 3,612, of which around 3,321 are in orbit as of today, according to data by leading astronomer Jonathan McDowell. The satellites that have deorbited burn in Earth’s atmosphere. Phase 1 of the Starlink constellation consists of 4,408 satellites in LEO; SpaceX has nearly deployed most and will begin deploying the next-generation satellites in 2023. SpaceX is arranging Phase 1 Starlink constellation into five orbital shells with different parameters, detailed in the table shown below. The Starlink Group 4-37 batch is the 32nd launch of satellites that will operate in orbital Shell 4. Overall, the Starlink constellation is expected to have at least 12,000 internet-beaming satellites that will be deployed within the next five years.
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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.