Elon Musk led SpaceX launches 53 satellites; none killed by solar storm this time

Elon Musk's SpaceX launched a new batch of Starlink Satellites yesterday. Last time as many as 49 were destroyed by a solar storm.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 11:54 IST
Falcon 9 rocket by SpaceX lifted off 53 Starlink Satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. (Representative Image) (AFP)
Falcon 9 rocket by SpaceX lifted off 53 Starlink Satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. (Representative Image) (AFP)

The aerospace manufacturer company led by Elon Musk, Space Exploration (SpaceX) launched a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:27 PM EDT this Friday from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station carrying another big batch of satellites. Falcon 9, which is a partially reusable two-stage-to-orbit medium-lift launch vehicle powered 53 more Starlink internet satellites into space. Within 8.5 minutes of launch, the first stage of the rocket returned to Earth and landed on the SpaceX drone ship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast. Last time as many as 49 SpaceX satellites were destroyed due to a raging solar storm. These satellites could not reach there or safe orbit because of it and were pulled down towards Earth and were burned up in the atmosphere- you can read it here.

“This was the sixth flight for the Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, Ax-1, and now two Starlink missions,” the SpaceX launch description mentioned. 21 days ago, the same booster Falcon 9 had lifted off Ax-1, the first all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. And now, after three-week, this turned out to be the fastest ever for a Falcon 9 first stage. Earlier, the previous mark was six days, EverydayAstronaut.com reported. Meanwhile, Ax-1 has returned to Earth this week.

All about Starlink launches

Starlink is a satellite internet company operated by Elon Musk's SpaceX. And so far, SpaceX has launched nearly 2,400 Starlink satellites, with a majority of them departing recently. And surprisingly, 10 of the company's 17 launches this year have been dedicated to Starlink missions only. And the Starlink mega constellation will certainly expand in the future. According to SpaceX, the network's next generation might include up to 30,000 satellites.

Looking at yesterday's launch was one of the latest in a series of complex launches for SpaceX. On April 27, a Falcon 9 launched the Crew-4 mission for NASA while sending four astronauts to the International Space Station. It was the company's fourth liftoff in the last 12 days and the second in the last three days. On April 25, the Dragon capsule from that trip splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, bringing home four astronauts, three of whom were paying customers.

You can watch the launch video of yesterday's SpaceX launch of 53 Starlink satellites on the official website of Starlink with this link

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First Published Date: 30 Apr, 17:43 IST
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