60 Additional Starlink Internet Satellites To Be Launched Via SpaceX Launch Into Orbit28th Feb 2021
An additional sixty Starlink internet satellites will be launched via the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket; sadly, this SpaceX launch could not land on the floating platform. The Falcon 9 left from the Space Launch Complex at the Cape Canaveral SFS (Space Force Station) on February 16th. However, the rocket’s 1st stage returned to the planet approximately nine minutes later. This was the sixth landing attempt on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ SpaceX’s drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. However, sadly it missed its mark.
The organisation has maintained that while it is an unfortunate event that the booster was not recovered, the second stage was still on the nominal trajectory.
While the company prefers to recover the rocket stages of Falcon 9 for reuse, delivering a flight’s payload into orbit has always been the main objective of SpaceX.
Doubling The Launches
The SpaceX satellite launch was intended to occur on Sunday night; however, it had to stand down due to poor weather conditions. Thunderstorms across Florida prevented the event.
Once the weather conditions improved, Falcon 9 was launched. This was the fifth SpaceX launch of the year and allowed the company to plan for its next mission. The Falcon 9 was also the 108th flight of the rocket. Additionally, if Falcon 9 could manage to stick to the touchdown, it would have marked the rocket’s 75th landing for the company.
SpaceX uses two floating landing platforms to recover its returning boosters – ‘Just Read The Instructions’ and ‘Of Course I Still Love You.’ Thanks to additional landing pads, SpaceX can also launch and land more rockets.
Aim of This SpaceX Launch – To Build A Mega-Constellation
With the Falcon 9, SpaceX now has more than 1,000 Starlink satellites orbiting the Earth. The company has also stated that more such events are pending, and this constellation will consist of 1,440 satellites. SpaceX has already sought approval for sending thousands more into orbit.
This massive constellation currently outnumbers any other man-made constellations, intending to connect the world by orbiting the Earth. These flat-paneled satellites will fly over the Earth and provide the users with maximum internet coverage.
Additionally, this flight has been sent just a few days after the company started offering pre-orders to the public. The company opened its website to potential customers on a first-come-first-serve basis last week.
Elon Musk, CEO and Founder of the company, states that additional 500-800 Starlink satellites would be needed before the coverage could roll out. Once the company achieves this milestone, it will start testing its new service.
According to early reports, it has been proven that the service worked fine. It also enabled the streaming of several HD programs at the same time. SpaceX has invited its users to start testing the services while also continuing to send more satellites.
The SpaceX launch company was granted permission to start rolling out its services to UK customers earlier this year. The organisation managed to get its first customer from Canada last December.