June 3rd. Starlink
Updated: Jun 28, 2020
9:25 pm EST. from SLC-40 atop a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force station.
Just one day before the 10 year anniversary of the first Falcon 9, and just four days after NASA and SpaceX returned crewed flight to American soil, another 60 satellites are in orbit as part of SpaceX's founder, Elon Musk's desire to provide affordable internet worldwide. Totaling now 480 Starlink beta testing is set to begin in a few months. The total payload weight for all 60 satellites are 41,000lbs. The block 5 Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the into a LEO (Low Earth Orbit) 550km above the Earth's surface. Tropical storm Crystolball has brought the Florida shores severe thunderstorms and tornados all week long, and the day of launch it was questionable whether this Falcon would fly. At the GO/NO GO point the weather cleared and rain stopped giving the Cape favorable conditions and the rocket soared through heavy clouds to a succesful mission.
A long exposure of the night's launch being lost in the clouds.
About eight minutes after lift off, booster 1049.5 landed on the drone ship "Just Read The Instructions" 638km downrange in the Atlantic ocean. This booster is now the most flown first stage rocket booster in history. Tonight marking it's fifth launch into orbit and successful landing. JRTI (Just Read The Instructions) is SpaceX's West coast recovery vessel that was brought to Florida some months ago after undergoing refurbishment in New Orleans. This was the first mission it has been used for on the East coast.
Items of note for tonights mission:
The 86th flight of a Falcon 9.
the 53rd succesful booster landing.
36th flight of a reused booster.
The second booster to fly 5 times. *the first to be recovered.
The 9th overall mission for SpaceX in 2020