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SpaceX will launch another 53 Starlink – Spaceflight Now satellites

Live coverage of the countdown and launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from launch complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Starlink 4-19 mission launches the next batch of SpaceX from 53 Starlink broadband satellites. Follow us in Twitter.

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SpaceX plans to launch a reusable accelerator Falcon 9 for a record 13th time on Friday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, launching into orbit another 53 Starlink satellites. Departure from site 39A is scheduled for 12:08 pm EDT (1608 GMT).

The Falcon 9 will head northeast of Kennedy to deliver flat-panel relay stations to an orbit ranging from 144 miles to 209 miles in altitude (232 by 337 kilometers). The deployment of the 53 flat satellites from the upper stage of the Falcon 9 is expected about 15 minutes after takeoff.

The launch will kick off a busy weekend for SpaceX, with two more Falcon 9 flights on Saturday and Sunday from Vandenberg Space Station in California, then from Cape Canaveral Space Station, a few miles south of the Kennedy Space Center.

With Friday’s mission, SpaceX will launch 2,706 Starlink Internet satellites, including prototypes and test units that are no longer in service, nearly an order of magnitude more spacecraft than any other fleet of spacecraft. The launch on Friday will mark SpaceX’s 48th mission, which focuses on launching Starlink Internet satellites into orbit.

Located in a shooting room at the Kennedy Launch Control Center, the SpaceX launch team will begin loading super-chilled, compacted kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the 229-foot (70-meter) high Falcon 9 vehicle in a T-minus 35 minutes. in Friday.

Helium pressure will also flow into the rocket in the last half hour of the countdown. In the last seven minutes before take-off, the main engines of the Falcon 9 Merlin will be thermally conditioned for flight by a procedure known as “cooling”. Falcon 9’s guidance and safety systems will also be configured to launch at 12:08:50 p.m.

After takeoff, the 229-foot (70-meter) high Falcon 9 rocket will redirect its 1.7 million-pound thrust produced by nine Merlin engines to head northeast over the Atlantic.

The rocket will exceed the speed of sound for about a minute, then turn off its nine main engines two and a half minutes after takeoff. The amplifier will be released from the upper stage of the Falcon 9, then will emit pulses from the cold gas control devices and will extend the titanium grilles to help the car head back into the atmosphere.

Two brake burns will delay the A Shortfall of Gravitas drone’s landing about 400 miles (650 km) down about eight and a half minutes after takeoff.

Credit: Spaceflight Now

The acceleration phase flying on Friday – queue number B1060 – will set a new record to become the most flying member of SpaceX’s reusable rocket fleet. It debuted on June 30, 2020 with the launch of a GPS navigation satellite for the US Army, then flew again in September and October 2020 in Starlink missions.

It launched six times in 2021 with the Türksat 5A geostationary communications satellite, four Starlink missions and SpaceX’s Transporter 2 small satellite sharing mission. Launch on Friday will be the booster’s fourth flight in 2022, all special flights for the Starlink network.

SpaceX has qualified Falcon 9 accelerators for at least 15 missions compared to the previous project life of 10 flights for each first phase of Falcon 9.

The landing of the first phase of the mission on Friday will happen moments before the second phase of the Falcon 9 engine stops to deliver Starlink satellites into orbit. The separation of the 53 spacecraft built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, is planned at T + plus 15 minutes, 26 seconds.

The retaining rods will release the Starlink payload stack, allowing the flat satellites to fly freely from the upper stage of the Falcon 9 into orbit. The spacecraft 53 will deploy solar arrays and go through automated activation steps, then use krypton-powered ion engines to maneuver in their operational orbit.

The Falcon 9’s targeting computer was designed to deploy satellites in an elliptical orbit between 144 and 209 miles above sea level, with an orbital tilt of 53.2 degrees to the equator. The satellites will use an onboard propulsion system to do the rest of the work to reach a circular orbit 335 miles (540 kilometers) above Earth.

Friday’s launch will be the first to put Starlink satellites into an elliptical orbit for lower altitude transfers since February, when solar wind-induced drag forced nearly 40 Starlink satellites to re-enter the atmosphere shortly after launch. Since then, all of StarXink’s SpaceX launches have included two burns from the upper-stage engine to ascend to a higher orbit to deploy the spacecraft.

Friday’s Starlink satellites will fly in one of five orbital shells used on SpaceX’s global web. Once they reach operational orbit, the satellites will enter a commercial service and begin broadcasting broadband signals to users who can purchase the Starlink service and connect to the network with a terrestrial terminal provided by SpaceX.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1060.13)

PAYLOAD: 53 Starlink satellites (Starlink 4-19)

STARTING SITE: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

STARTING DATE: June 17, 2022

NOON: 12:08:50 EDT (1608: 50 GMT)

WEATHER FORECAST: 90% chance of acceptable time; Low risk of upper level winds; Low risk of adverse booster recovery conditions

BUSTER RECOVERY: Gravity Lack Drone East of Charleston, South Carolina


TARGET ORBIT: 144 miles at 209 miles (232 kilometers by 337 kilometers), 53.2 degrees slope


  • T + 00: 00: Takeoff
  • T + 01: 12: Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q)
  • T + 02: 27: First stage of main engine shutdown (MECO)
  • T + 02: 30: Separation of stages
  • T + 02:37: Second stage of engine ignition
  • T + 02:42: Disposal of the fairing
  • T + 06: 47: Initial ignition on entry (three engines)
  • T + 07: 07: Exclusion of combustion when entering the first stage
  • T + 08: 24: First stage of landing ignition (single engine)
  • T + 08:35: First landing stage
  • T + 08:45: Second engine stop (SECO 1)
  • T + 15: 26: Split Starlink satellite


  • The 158th launch of the 2010 Falcon 9 rocket
  • The 166th launch of the Falcon family of missiles in 2006
  • 13th launch of Falcon 9 booster B1060
  • 138th launch of the Falcon 9 from the Florida Space Coast
  • 50th launch of SpaceX from site 39A
  • The 144th launch as a whole from site 39A
  • 100th flight of a reused booster Falcon 9
  • The 48th special launch of the Falcon 9 with Starlink satellites
  • The 24th launch of the Falcon 9 in 2022
  • The 24th launch of SpaceX in 2022
  • 25th launch launch into Cape Canaveral in 2022

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1.

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