SpaceX has successfully launched its next batch of 60 Starlink satellites using a Falcon 9 rocket that had previously flown on seven other missions.
This is the seventeenth time that SpaceX has sent Starlink satellites into orbit and the eighth successful flight of Falcon 9 rocket, that has, yet again, set a new record for its reusability.
The mission, which took off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch complex 39A, Florida, will push the payload in low Earth orbit (LEO) and join nearly 1,000 other satellites in the Starlink’s constellation. The goal is to deliver high-speed global internet coverage to remote locations wherever possible from the company’s mega-constellations of thousands of satellites.
The company has already begun expanding eligibility for its beta access program to the public. However for now, the deployment is limited to certain areas of North America, and parts of Canada.
Also, one of the most remarkable things about today’s launch is that it included a landing attempt in what is referred to as “envelope expansion” conditions, which means the winds at the surface near the landing zone where SpaceX’s Just Read The Instructions (JRTI) droneship was floating transcended the previously specified threshold for safe landing.
But what does this mean for the company’s future missions? Well, SpaceX would have fewer launch cancellations based on weather conditions around the landing zone as today’s landing success demonstrated Falcon 9 rocket’s improved tolerance for wind speeds.
Here’s the replay of today’s Starlink Mission: