SpaceX launched 50 new starlink satellites on 25th Feb and landed the returning rocket on a ship at sea today.
A two-stage Falcon9 rocket topped with 50 Starlink internet spacecraft lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California today at 12:12 p.m. EST (17:12 GMT; 9:12 a.m. local California time)
A little under 9 minutes later, the Falcon 9’s first stage came back to earth for a vertical touchdown on Of Course I Still Love You, a SpaceX drone ship that was stationed around several hundred miles off the California coast.
The second stage, for the moment, continued carrying the 50 satellites launched into orbit. The spacecraft was deployed as planned about an hour after the liftoff.
It was the fourth successful launch and landing for this particular booster. The first stage helped launch the Sentinel -6 Michael Freilich Earth-observation satellite for NASA and the European Organization for the exploitation of Meteorological Satellites in November 2020, as well as 60 Starlink satellites in May 2021 and NASA’S Double Asteroid Redirection Test spacecraft in November 2021.
The people of Tonga were recently connected with the launch of starlink. The Starlink team responded to a volcanic catastrophe earlier this year for the island nation of Tonga, which comprises 169 small islands and is located in the south pacific ocean. The deployment of starlink helped provide internet services for the people who were cut off by the volcanic eruption.
SpaceX Representatives said,
For SpaceX reuse is a priority according to its CEO and founder Elon Musk. Musk aims to help colonize Mars, and he also believes that fully and rapidly reusable rockets are the key breakthrough needed for that to happen.
Today’s launch was the third Starlink mission of February for SpaceX, after a 49-satellite launch on Feb 3rd and a 46-satellite liftoff on Monday i.e., Feb 21st. The Feb.21st mission marked the 100th landing of a falcon 9 first stage during an orbital flight.
SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites so far, and many more are stated to go up. The corporate has permission to loft up to 12,000 of the broadband spacecrafts, and it has applied to launch up to 30,000 more into the sky.
Read more about Starlink Satellites