SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Starlink 19 mission with the next batch of 60 Starlink satellites. The rocket will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Launch window begins at 10:59pm ET (03:59am UTC)
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Starlink 19 will mark the 19th operational Starlink mission, boosting the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 1145. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, 633 km downrange.
Starlink is SpaceX’s internet communication satellite constellation. The Low-Earth orbit constellation will deliver fast, low-latency internet service to locations where ground-based internet is unreliable, unavailable, or expensive. The Falcon 9 Block 5 is SpaceX’s partially reusable two-stage medium-lift launch vehicle. Block 5 is the final iteration of the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 contains 3 main components: a reusable first stage, an expendable second stage, and a reusable fairing.
The booster supporting this mission, B1059, has flown five times, making Starlink 19 its 6th flight. Its maiden flight was launching the CRS-19 mission, which launched on December 5th, 2019. The booster’s second flight was launching the final first generation Cargo Dragon, CRS-20, which launched on March 7, 2020. B1059 then launched the Starlink V1.0 L8 mission on June 13, 2020 and the SAOCOM-1B mission on August 30, 2020. The booster’s most recent launch was on the NROL-108 mission, which launched on December 19th, 2020.
SpaceX is the first entity ever that recovers and reflies its fairings. The recovery vessels, Go Ms. Tree and Go Ms. Chief, will attempt to recover the fairing halves. After being jettisoned, the two fairing halves will use cold gas thrusters to orientate themselves as they descend through the atmosphere. Once at a lower altitude, they will deploy parafoils to help them glide down to a soft landing for recovery.
This will be the 5th launch for SpaceX in 2021, 108th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket and 25th consecutive booster landing (a new record for SpaceX).
Courtesy of SpaceX
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