Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the Hawthorne-based aerospace company, launched its 13th batch of Starlink satellites on Oct. 6, bringing the number of operational Starlink satellites in orbit to 773.
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink satellites lifted off at 7:29 a.m. Eastern Time from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct.6.
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellites lifted off at 7:29 a.m. Eastern Time from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Starlink satellites deployed about 61 minutes after liftoff.
SpaceX successfully recovered the rocket’s first stage by landing it on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The first booster stage had previously supported the May 30 manned mission that launched the Crew Dragon’s first manned flight to the International Space Station, as well as the July 20 ANASIS-II mission, where the company deployed a South Korean military satellite to its target orbit.
SpaceX's recovery ship, “Ms. Tree,” also attempted to catch the fairing halves of the Falcon 9’s nose cone. The ship was able to catch one of the halves, while the other fell into the ocean.
So far, SpaceX ships caught both halves of the Falcon 9’s nose cone only once, on July 20 during the Anasis-II mission. The ability to catch the nose cone halves reduces launch costs for the company, which is already able to save money by reusing its first booster stages.
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