On a clear blue sky at 12:43 PM EDT or 16:34 UTC SpaceX successfully launched and landed first stage booster B-1058.7 (it’s seventh flight) on their autonomous drone ship OCISLY 633 kilometers down range in the Atlantic Ocean and deployed 60 additional Starlink satellites into orbit. All in all it was a perfect launch and has now launched 1,445 satellites into the Starlink constellation with an estimated satellites still in orbit.
This now makes the 112th Falcon 9 launch with 72 landings and 55 re flown rockets for SpaceX. SpaceX is performing a demonstration connecting it’s Starlink satellite network to “tactical aircraft” at Edwards Air Force Base through Bell Aerospace antennas under an Air Force Research Lab contract called DEUCSI (Air Force Laboratory’s Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet.
The very first Starlink launch was v0.9 with test version Starlink satellites back on Feb. 22nd 2018.
SpaceX started private beta service in the northern United States in august and public beta testing in October 2020 in high latitudes between 44 degrees and 52 degrees.
Congratulations to all of the SpaceX team for another successful mission to bring high speed internet to the rural areas of the world.
Article and Photo Credit: Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu and space-news.es