SpaceX successfully put 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit

Shane McGlaun - Feb 4, 2021, 5:41am CST
SpaceX successfully put 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit

SpaceX has confirmed a successful launch and deployment for 60 additional Starlink satellites. The launch happened at 1:19 AM EST as the Falcon 9 rocket successfully lifted off, putting its payload into space. After a successful mission for the Falcon 9, the first stage successfully landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Interestingly, one successful launch isn’t all SpaceX hopes to do today. The company is also aiming to put an additional 60 satellites into orbit, with the second launch happening at 5:36 AM EST. The first launch happened from SLC-40, with the second launch set to occur from LC-39A. Assuming the second launch happens, SpaceX will successfully put 120 satellites into orbit on the same day.

SpaceX did encounter challenges with recovering the first stage booster aboard the drone ship. Elon Musk said that the recovery was difficult because there were high seas and wind to contend with, but the recovery was successful. The same booster that pushed the satellites into orbit today has flown on four other missions.

Those other missions include two previous Starlink missions, GPS III Space Vehicle 03 and Turksat 5A missions. Half the fairing used on the mission was also previously used on the SAOCOM-1B mission, while the other half was used on the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 mission. SpaceX did tweet a short video showing satellites being released once the rocket reached orbit.

Anyone interested in watching the second rocket launch who missed the first launch can watch via the SpaceX YouTube channel, where a livestream of the second launch later this morning. SpaceX has had an interesting week, with the last test of its Starship spacecraft failing spectacularly with an explosion during landing.


Must Read Bits & Bytes