SpaceX successfully launched a new batch of Starlink satellites online on Wednesday (March 9), marking the company’s 10th launch in as many weeks.
two stages Falcon 9 missile launch 48 starlink Satellites in orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 8:45 a.m. EDT (1545 GMT). Then the first stage of the rocket returned to land for a smooth landing at sea on SpaceX droneship Gravitas deficiency.
“It’s time to let the American broomstick fly and listen to the sounds of freedom,” SpaceX’s launch director said before launch. The call was an apparent response to the head of the Russian Space Agency, Dmitry Rogozin, who said “let them fly in something else, broomsticks” last week after Russia halts sales of its missile engines To US service providers amid the economic sanctions that followed that country Invasion of Ukraine On February 24.
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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk He bowed to Rogozin’s comments, calling the Falcon 9 — the workhorse of SpaceX’s reusable fleet — a reliable “American broomstick” In a Twitter post last week. SpaceX also has Starlink stations introduced to Ukraine To help restore communications and Internet service across the country and is With a focus on cyber security To prevent jamming of those stations.
“Another 48 Starlinks have reached orbit,” Musk wrote on Twitter Wednesday after the successful launch.
Starlink is the giant constellation of broadband satellites that SpaceX collects in low Earth orbit. The company has already launched more than 2,000 Starlinks since 2019, and more will rise in the relatively near future.
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SpaceX has permission to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites and has applied for approval for up to 30,000 additional satellites. Wednesday’s Starlink mission, called Starlink 4-10, was the 41st flight of the massive planet.
Last month, SpaceX Almost lost a whole set of Starlink satellites Due to a solar storm that caused dozens of Starlinks to fall from space and burn up Earth’s atmosphere days after launch. Since then, SpaceX has increased its initial reach to avoid a repeat of similar incidents.
SpaceX said Wednesday’s launch marks the fourth flight and landing of the Falcon 9’s first stage. Unlock the booster too ARABSAT -6 A A mission in April 2019, the flight of the US Army’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) in June 2019 and the Italian Earth observation satellite COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 in January.
The first two missions on that list – Arabsat 6A and STP-2 – were flown by the massive SpaceX Falcon Heavy The rocket consists of three Falcon 9 cores strapped together, topped with a second stage. The second generation COSMO-SkyMed FM2 was carried over by Falcon 9.
Mike Wall is the author of “AbroadBook (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed or on Facebook.