This Sunday (14), SpaceX took 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit, which will compose a megaconstellation capable of providing high speed internet to the whole world. This mission, which was the third in a 10-day interval, set a new record for the Falcon 9 rocket propeller, which completed its ninth round trip to space, followed by a successful landing.
Powered by nine main Merlin engines, the rocket took off during the morning at Kennedy Space Center. As with the other missions carried out this month, the launch took place with a reused propellant, with recycled cover protecting the payload and a stack of 60 Starlink satellites. Just over two minutes after launch, the engines were deactivated. Then, the stage separated to perform a controlled descent to the vessel “Of Course I Still Love You”, in the Atlantic Ocean.
Meanwhile, the vehicle’s upper stage went on a journey to bring the satellites into orbit, which were successfully inserted, and the set was released in one go at an altitude of 283 km, just over an hour after launch. With this mission, the B1051 propellant broke a new record in SpaceX’s reusable rocket program, being the first in the company’s fleet to reach the mark of nine round trips to space – another propeller adds eight missions in its history.
This veteran booster is the same one that was used on important missions. Among them, the inaugural Demo-1 mission, in which the Crew Dragon capsule was taken to the International Space Station without a crew, just to prove that it could safely make this space trip. Subsequently, the booster was used to launch Canadian observation satellites, among other missions launched in Florida. Thus, SpaceX not only shows that it can fly its rocket boosters multiple times, but that it also has the necessary agility to get them ready quickly for the next mission, something essential for reducing space launch costs.
With this launch, SpaceX already has more than 1,300 satellites in orbit, some of which were prototypes and have already been burned when reentering the Earth’s atmosphere. The Starlink constellation is initially expected to have 1,584 units – but SpaceX has approval from the Federal Communications Commission, the telecommunications regulatory agency in the United States, to launch around 12,000 units at various altitudes and inclinations, with the number The final price must exceed 30 thousand components. By staying at lower altitudes, they are able to provide low-latency, high-speed internet to users.
Today, customers participating in the beta phase of the internet service, who live in regions of higher latitudes and have received invitations, are already able to use the connection. With other launches that will be made throughout the year, it is expected that the coverage area will be expanded to other regions besides the United Kingdom and the United States – so much so that SpaceX already accepts pre-orders from interested customers, who can pay a U fee $ 99 to stand in line for when the service arrives in your regions. After that, you will have to pay an additional US $ 499 to purchase the kit with antenna and router, in addition to US $ 99 for the monthly use of the service.