May 23rd, Starlink Demo Mission
10:30 pm EST atop a Falcon 9 rocket from LC-40 at Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.
In February 2018 SpaceX successfully launched an on-orbit test of two demo Starlink Satellites, Tintin-A, and Tintin-B. Now they have moved forward to launch an entire batch of sixty of these satellites to begin constructing their space based internet service comprised of 11,943 satellites. By this plan it will take twenty for launches to put that total into orbit at 550 km. Afterwards the company planes to deploy 340 km shell of 7,518 satellites.
Photo courtesy of SpaceX
Some notable features of the first full Starlink launch includes the 71st flight of a Falcon 9 rocket, the 79th orbital mission for SpaceX, and the 40th booster recovery. Also important to note is this is the heaviest payload every launched by SpaceX to date on their Falcon 9 rocket ship. Each Starlink weighs in at 227 kg, and the total payload weight was an astonishing 13,620 kg. More than 30,000 lbs. Elon Musk, Owner/Founder of SpaceX also stated that he could pack more Satellites into each rocket if they chose not have the boosters re-flown.
The booster first stage for this mission was B1049, making this it's third time flying having previously flown for the Telstar 18V mission from SLC-40 in Cape Canaveral, Fl., and the Iridium NEXT-8 from SLC-4E in Vandenberg, California.