SpaceX successfully launches 52 Starlink satellites; What is Elon Musk up to now?
Marking the first Starlink launch for the month, SpaceX conducted the successful launch of 52 more Starlink satellites today, August 10. The mission was the 21st Starlink mission of 2022 and SpaceX's 35th orbital flight of the year in total. Elon Musk, SpaceX chief, has been aggressively expanding its satellite internet network and this launch comes days after the July 22 launch when 53 Starlink satellites were sent to space. The reusable Falcon 9 rocket was used for the purpose of the launch.
According to a Space.com report, the launch took place at 7:44 AM from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The stage one boosters of the Falcon 9 rocket came back to Earth roughly around nine minutes after the launch, making a vertical landing on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas. The upper stage of the rocket continued upwards and deployed 52 Starlink satellites about 15 minutes after the launch. The successful deployment was also confirmed by the official Twitter handle of SpaceX, you can check it here.
SpaceX deploys another batch of Starlink satellites
SpaceX has been building a mega-constellation of Starlink satellites in space to offer high-speed, uninterrupted and affordable internet. Musk has been very aggressive with the satellite launches in 2022 and the reason appears to be fast expansion into the geographies where Starlink is not available. In earlier months, Musk released the list of countries where SpaceX would make Starlink internet available by the end of the year. Reacting to today's launch, Musk tweeted, “Quite the day”.
So far, more than 3,000 Starlink satellites have been deployed by SpaceX and more are likely to come as the company has permission to deploy upto 12,000 satellites. Musk has also applied for permission to launch 30,000 satellites on top of that.
SpaceX has been on fire lately. Today, it also conducted "static fire" engine tests for its Booster 7 and Ship 24, the prototypes for the company's deep-space transportation system. Both the spacecraft are part of its Starship program and the company is likely to hold the first-ever orbital test flight for both the ships later this year.