If all goes as planned, the Falcon 9’s first stage will safely re-enter the atmosphere and touch down at sea on a SpaceX drone ship around 8.5 minutes after liftoff.
According to a SpaceX mission description, it will be this Falcon 9 first stage’s sixth launch and landing. Meanwhile, it is planned that the 21 Starlink satellites will be released from the Falcon 9’s upper stage and sent into low Earth orbit (LEO) roughly 62.5 minutes following liftoff. Less than two days have passed since the Starlink launch from Florida’s Space Coast, which was the 17th flight for a Falcon 9 first stage. That equaled the business’s most recent record for reuse. SpaceX’s internet mega constellation is called Starlink.
21 Starlink satellites will be launched at 12:23 a.m. on Monday from SLC-4E, according to SpaceX. If the launch is not successful at that time, there are five backup possibilities between 1:48 and 4:04 a.m. available. According to SpaceX, there are also six additional backup opportunities on Monday between 11:59 p.m. and 3:42 a.m. Tuesday. According to SpaceX, the first stage will land on the, Of Course, I Still Love You droneship in the Pacific Ocean following stage separation. Sonic booms shouldn’t be heard in the area because the first stage isn’t landing back at Vandenberg.
Live coverage of the Starlink launch
SpaceX is preparing to launch a Falcon 9 from the West Coast at 1:48 a.m. PDT (4:48 a.m. EDT / 0848 UTC) on Monday as part of its 42nd Starlink delivery mission of the year. In our Launch Pad Live stream, we’ll be providing you with live coverage of the Starlink launch.
After launching from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, the Falcon 9 will move southeast towards its target orbit, which will be 185 178 miles (297 286 km) in diameter and inclined at 53 degrees to the equator. The first stage booster, which is currently in its sixth flight, has already launched four previous Starlink delivery flights and the inaugural Tranche 0 mission for the U.S. military’s Space Development Agency.
Positioned in the Pacific Ocean
After burning up, the first stage will touch down on the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You,” which is positioned in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California, some 400 miles (644 km) downrange. The 21 V2 Mini Starlink satellites will be deployed just over an hour after launch if all goes as planned. The V1.5 satellites are substantially smaller than the V2 Mini variant, which was unveiled earlier this year. The most recent models can supply four times the bandwidth of earlier satellites thanks to enhanced antennae and larger solar panels. Recently, SpaceX revealed that more than two million people have joined up for its Starlink internet service across more than 60 nations.