SpaceX launches 53 more Starlink satellites – Spaceflight Now

Countdown and live coverage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Spaceport 40 at Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Starlink 4-27 mission will launch SpaceX’s next batch of 53 Starlink broadband satellites.follow us Twitter.

SFN Live

SpaceX launched another batch of 53 Starlink internet satellites Friday from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off at 3:21 p.m. ET (1921 GMT), delivering a Starlink payload into orbit, and a reusable first-stage booster lands in the Atlantic Ocean. A drone ship.

The Falcon 9 rocket, launched northeast from the Kennedy Space Center, is designed to deliver the flat-pack broadband relay station to orbits between 144 miles and 208 miles (232 x 336 kilometers) above sea level. The 53 flat-pack satellites on Falcon 9’s upper deck unfolded about 15 minutes after liftoff.

Through Friday’s mission, designated Starlink 4-27, SpaceX has launched 3,108 Starlink internet satellites, including prototypes and test cells that are no longer in use. Tuesday’s launch was SpaceX’s 56th mission, which is largely devoted to putting the Starlink internet satellite into orbit.

SpaceX’s launch team, stationed in a launch control center south of the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, begins loading the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 with ultra-cold, dense kerosene and liquid oxygen propellant Rocket, T-minus 35 minutes.

Helium also flowed into the rocket during the last half-hour of the countdown. In the final seven minutes before takeoff, the Falcon 9’s Merlin main engines are thermally conditioned to fly through a procedure called “cooling.” The Falcon 9’s guidance and range safety systems were also configured for launch.

After liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket directed its 1.7 million pounds of thrust—generated by nine Merlin engines—to the northeast over the Atlantic Ocean.

The rocket surpassed the speed of sound in about a minute, then shut down its nine main engines two and a half minutes after liftoff. The booster stage is released from the Falcon 9’s upper stage, which then fires pulses from cold gas control thrusters and extended titanium mesh fins to help guide the vehicle back into the atmosphere.

Two brake burns slowed the rocket’s landing on the “gravity shortage” of the 400-mile (650-kilometer) drone ship about eight-and-a-half minutes after takeoff.

Credit: Spaceflight Now

The first stage of Friday’s launch was designated B1062 in SpaceX’s inventory. The first launch of the booster was on November 5, 2020, with a US military GPS navigation satellite. Since then, the rocket has launched two commercial astronaut missions, another GPS satellite, the Egyptian Nilesat 301 communications spacecraft and four Starlink missions.

The Falcon 9’s reusable payload fairing was discarded during the second stage burn. A recovery ship is also docked in the Atlantic to retrieve the nose cone halves after being splashed under a parachute.

The first-stage landing of the mission on Tuesday came moments after the Falcon 9’s second-stage engines shut down to put the Starlink satellite into orbit. The separation of Spacecraft 53, built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, from the Falcon 9 rocket was confirmed at T+15:15.

The anchor rods released from the Starlink payload stack allow the flat-packed satellites to fly freely from the Falcon 9’s upper orbit. 53 The spacecraft will deploy the solar array and operate through automatic activation steps, then maneuver into its operational orbit using a krypton-fueled ion engine.

The Falcon 9’s guidance computer is designed to deploy the satellite into an elliptical orbit inclined 53.2 degrees from the equator. The satellite will use onboard thrusters to do the rest to reach a circular orbit 335 miles (540 kilometers) above Earth.

Starlink satellites will fly in one of five orbital “hulls” of varying inclinations of SpaceX’s global internet network. After reaching its operational orbit, the satellite will enter commercial service and begin sending broadband signals to consumers, who can purchase Starlink services and connect to the network through ground terminals provided by SpaceX.

Rocket: Falcon 9 (B1062.9)

Payload: 53 Starlink satellites (Starlink 4-27)

Launch Location: SLC-40, Space Force Station, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Launch Date: August 19, 2022

Launch time: 3:21:20 PM ET (1921:20 GMT)

Weather forecast: 50% acceptable weather; low upper-level wind risk; low risk of booster recovering from adverse conditions

Booster Recovery: ‘Gravity Shortage’ Drones East of Charleston, South Carolina

Launch Azimuth: northeast

Target Orbit: 144 miles x 208 miles (232 km x 336 km), 53.2 degrees inclination

Launch schedule:

  • T+00:00: Take off
  • T+01:12: Maximum Aerodynamic Pressure (Max-Q)
  • T+02:28: Level 1 mainframe shutdown (MECO)
  • T+02:32: Stage separation
  • T+02:38: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:43: Fairing jettisoned
  • T+06:49: Stage 1 enters combustion ignition (three engines)
  • T+07:08: The first stage enters the combustion cut-off
  • T+08:29: First stage landing combustion ignition (one engine)
  • T+08:33: Second stage engine shutdown (SECO 1)
  • T+08:49: First stage landing
  • T+15:15: Starlink satellite separation

Mission Statistics:

  • 171st Falcon 9 launch since 2010
  • 179th Falcon series launch since 2006
  • 9th launch of Falcon 9 booster B1062
  • 147th Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s Space Coast
  • 94th Falcon 9 launch from launch pad 40
  • 149th launch from pad 40
  • The 113th flight of the reused Falcon 9 booster
  • 56th dedicated Falcon 9 launch using Starlink satellites
  • 37th Falcon 9 launch in 2022
  • SpaceX launches 37th launch in 2022
  • 36th orbital launch attempt at Cape Canaveral in 2022

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @Stephen Clark 1.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.