SpaceX launches first operational Starlink mission and achieves further reusability milestone

by | Nov 12, 2019 | Launches, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

Lifting-off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket has lifted-off for the fourth time. This mission took place at 1456 GMT, on 11 November 2019, launching the second batch of 60 Starlink satellites into orbit. Following on from the first launch in May 2019, which carried 60 “test” satellites, this mission carried “operational” units.

These units are reported to be a more advanced series with greater communications capacity. The satellites were also launched into an initial orbit 150 km lower than the previously used one, the idea being that if a satellite fails soon after launch it will re-enter quicker.

This mission saw the Falcon 9 first-stage, known as B1048, being used for the fourth time. This stage has previously launched an Iridium NEXT mission, Saocom-1A and Nusantara Satu. Additionally, this mission is utilising previously flown payload fairings in a first for SpaceX. These fairings were recovered following the Arabsat-6A launch, which flew on a Falcon Heavy rocket in April.

The Falcon 9 rocket lifting-off from Cape Canaveral carrying the second Starlink mission. Courtesy of SpaceX

Following the launch the now “experienced” first-stage completed a successful propulsive landing on a drone ship positioned in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship used was the “Of Course I Still Love You”. SpaceX had intended to attempt to recover the payload fairings following this mission too however, the dedicated recovery ships were forced to return to port due to worsening conditions at sea.

Comment by David Todd: There is an increasing backlash against the SpaceX Starlink constellation over its light pollution aspect which may hinder astronomical observations.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to www.seradata.com/spacetrak

Related Articles

Space Launches: Three up in less than three days for Space X Falcon 9…but one is a mystery

In a flurry of activity, SpaceX performed three separate Falcon 9 launches in less than three days. At 1609 GMT Read more

SpaceX: Two rockets, two days and 106 new Starlink satellites

It was a busy weekend for SpaceX which launched two Falcon 9 rockets in less than 24 hours between 13 Read more

SpaceX launches first of many planned Starlink launches in May

At 0942 GMT on 6 May a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida carrying 53 Read more

SpaceX Falcon 9 puts 53 Starlink (Group 4-14) satellites into orbit as reusable first stage makes 12th flight

After a two and half hour delay due to high ground winds, SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 Read more

Satellite 2022: SpaceX raises prices in wake of inflation and falls out with launch arranger Spaceflight

While SpaceX representatives were speaking at the Satellite 2022 conference, Washington DC on 22 March, the company was also telling Read more

SpaceX continues rapid Starlink deployment with fourth launch in 16 days, pushing in-orbit units to over 2000

SpaceX successfully launched another Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, at 1345 GMT on 9 March. Read more

Western organisations note suspected Russian space signals jamming in Ukraine

Bob Marley may have sung the lyric “We’re jammin’, jammin’, jammin’” several decades ago, but this chorus could now be Read more

Falcon 9 launches Group 4-9 Starlink sats

The spacecraft operator and launch provider SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9v1.2FT Block 5 vehicle from the Cape Canaveral Space Read more

Categories

Archives