SpaceX launches another 52 Starlink satellites, lands rocket at sea

SpaceX launched another 52 of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit Saturday evening (Sept. 24) and also aced a rocket landing at sea.

A Falcon 9 rocket topped with 52 Starlink spacecraft lifted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Saturday at 7:32 p.m. EDT (2332 GMT).

Just under nine minutes later, the Falcon 9’s first stage came back to Earth for a pinpoint touchdown on the SpaceX “droneship” A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. It was the fourth liftoff and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description.

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to 40 countries. It also aims for global mobile phone service after 2023. SpaceX started launching Starlink satellites in 2019. As of September 2022, Starlink consists of over 3,000 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), which communicate with designated ground transceivers. Starlink provides internet access to over 500,000 subscribers as of June 2022.

The SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond, Washington houses the Starlink research, development, manufacturing, and orbit control teams. The cost of the decade-long project to design, build, and deploy the constellation was estimated by SpaceX in May 2018 to be at least US$10 billion. In February 2017, documents indicated that SpaceX expects more than $30 billion in revenue by 2025 from its satellite constellation, while revenues from its launch business were expected to reach $5 billion in the same year.

60 Starlink satellites stacked together before deployment on 24 May 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.