Click For Photo: https://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/starlink1.jpg
On Thursday, May 23rd, 2019, SpaceX launched the first batch of their Starlink satellites to orbit. The launch took place at 10:30 pm EDT (07:30 pm PDT) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral on the Florida coast. With this delivery, SpaceX founder Elon Musk is making good on his promise to begin providing global broadband internet access to the entire world, a goal that has become somewhat challenging in recent years.
In addition to getting the ball rolling on the Starlink constellation, this launch was also a testament to SpaceX’s commitment to reusability. The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket that carried the 60 satellites to orbit had been used in two previous launches – the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in September 2018 and the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019.
Stage - Separation - Stage - Sea - Course
Following first stage separation, the first stage landed at sea on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship. Shortly thereafter, Musk announced the successful retrieval on SpaceX’s official twitter account, tweeting: “Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship – the third launch and landing of a booster that’s flown for a third time!”
Deployment of the 60 Starlink satellites took place about roughly an hour and two minutes after takeoff (11:32 pm EDT; 08:32 pm PDT), with the satellites being deployed at an altitude of 440 km (273 mi). The satellites then powered up their onboard propulsion rockets to reach an operational altitude of 550 km (340 mi). Once complete, Musk tweeted success once again:
Falcon - Launches - Starlink - Satellites - Starlink
“Falcon 9 launches 60 Starlink satellites to orbit – targeting up to 6 Starlink launches this year and will accelerate our cadence next year to put ~720 satellites in orbit for continuous coverage of most populated areas on Earth.”
The story of Starlink is an interesting and...
Wake Up To Breaking News!
It just doesn't get bettere than this...