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SpaceX launches 52 Starlink satellites, lands rocket at sea

SpaceX launched another big batch of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit and landed a rocket on a ship at sea on Tuesday (Aug. 9).

A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket topped with 52 Starlink spacecraft lifted faraway from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Tuesday at 10: 14 p.m. EDT (0214 GMT on Aug. 10).

Just a little significantly less than nine minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth for a vertical landing on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, that was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.

The Falcon 9 upper stage, meanwhile, continued powering its solution to low Earth orbit, eventually deploying the Starlink satellites as planned about 15 minutes after liftoff, SpaceX confirmed via Twitter (opens in new tab).

Related: SpaceX’s Starlink megaconstellation launches in photos

The first stage of a SpaceX rocket sits on the deck of a drone ship shortly after launching 52 Starlink internet satellites on Aug. 9, 2022.

The initial stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sits on the deck of a drone ship soon after launching 52 Starlink internet satellites on Aug. 9, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Starlink is SpaceX’s internet megaconstellation, which beams broadband service to thousands of people all over the world. Elon Musk’s company has launched a lot more than 3,000 Starlink satellites (opens in new tab) to orbit, but a lot more will likely rise; SpaceX has permission to loft 12,000 of the craft and contains requested approval to launch 30,000 more in addition.

Tonight’s launch was the business’s 21st Starlink mission of 2022 and its own 35th orbital flight of the entire year overall, increasing a SpaceX record. The business’s previous mark for some orbital missions in per year was 31, occur 2021.

Rocket reuse is really a big priority for SpaceX, which views it as a breakthrough that can help make Mars colonization feasible.

The Falcon 9 first stage that flew on Tuesday already had two spaceflights under its belt, in accordance with a SpaceX mission description (opens in new tab). That’s impressive, but it’s miles from the SpaceX record; three different Falcon 9 boosters have launched 13 orbital missions up to now.

The Starlink launch was section of an extremely active day for SpaceX. Also today, the business conducted “static fire” engine tests at its South Texas facility with Booster 7 and Ship 24, prototypes of its Starship deep-space transportation system.

SpaceX is preparing Booster 7 and Ship 24 for the Starship program’s first-ever orbital test flight, that your company aims to launch in the coming months.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4: 20 p.m. EDT on Aug. 9 to add the webcast information also to correct the expected time of satellite deployment (to roughly 15 minutes after liftoff, instead of one hour). It had been updated again at 10: 43 p.m. EDT with news of the successful launch and landing and the Booster 7 and Ship 24 static fire tests.

Mike Wall may be the writer of “ON THE MARKET (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book concerning the seek out alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).

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Mike Wall

Michael Wall is really a Senior Space Writer withSpace.com (opens in new tab)and joined the team in 2010.He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been recognized to dabble in the area art beat.His book concerning the seek out alien life, “ON THE MARKET,” was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before learning to be a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He’s got a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To discover what his latest project is, it is possible to follow Michael on Twitter.

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