SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida Sunday morning.
“You are watching a live webcast of our 14th Starlink mission,” said Andy Tran, a production supervisor at SpaceX. “It’s also our 18th mission this year. To date, we’ve launched more than 750 Starlink satellites to orbit. Starlink is a constellation of satellites that can provide high-speed low-latency internet all over the globe, particularly in remote areas where connectivity is limited or completely unavailable. Today we will be performing two second-stage burns and deploying our 60 Starlink satellites at approximately one hour into the mission. The two burns allow us to deploy our satellites into a circular orbit which in turn helps them get to their final orbit much quicker.”
“Our first stage is going to make its way back to Earth to attempt landing for the sixth time on our droneship in the Atlantic Ocean,” says Tran. “Right down the middle, Falcon 9 has landed. This particular booster has landed for the sixth time. This marks our 62nd successful recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage and the 32nd time we’ve landed on this particular droneship, ‘Of Course, I Still Love You.’ A great way to start off a Sunday.
Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station, launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, and three Starlink missions this year. Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Falcon 9’s fairing halves each previously supported two missions. The Starlink satellites deployed approximately 1 hour and 3 minutes after liftoff.
“As our Starlink network is still in its early stages, the Starlink team continues to test the system, collecting latency data and performing speed tests of the service,” says the SpaceX team in a blog post. “The team also recently installed Starlinks on the Administrative Center building and about 20 private homes on the Hoh Tribe Reservation, located in a remote area of western Washington State where internet access is limited or completely unavailable.”