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SpaceX has efficiently launched the Starlink mission on its sixth try – Spaceflight Now

Stay protection of the launch and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Area Launch Complicated 40 at Cape Canaveral Area Power Station in Florida. The Starlink 4-34 mission will launch SpaceX’s subsequent batch of 54 Starlink broadband satellites. observe us Twitter.

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SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral on Sunday night time after a five-day climate delay, carrying 54 extra Starlink satellites into orbit as the corporate continues its push to finish greater than 60 missions on this yr.

The 229-foot (60-meter) Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 8:18:40 p.m. EDT Sunday (0018:40 GMT Monday) to launch SpaceX’s Starlink 4-34 mission. The Falcon 9, powered by 9 Merlin 1D diesel engines, shot into the night time sky because it lifted off northeast from pad 40 on the Area Station. Cape Canaveral Power.

The mission lastly lifted off from Earth after a five-day delay that started Tuesday night time when the launch crew halted the countdown earlier than it started loading propellant into the Falcon 9 rocket. A flash of lightning lit up the sky above the Florida’s Area Coast throughout the night. Related climate situations on Wednesday night time pressured officers to name for an additional scrub earlier than launch, and SpaceX stopped the countdown at T-minus 30 seconds on Thursday night time because it remained ” the climate would not work”.

It was an analogous story Friday night time as SpaceX loaded the propellants into the Falcon 9, however stopped the countdown in simply T-minus 60 seconds. The unique crew was aiming for an additional launch try on Saturday, however SpaceX introduced late Saturday that the mission could be delayed till Sunday night time.

This flight marks SpaceX’s forty second Falcon 9 launch to this point in 2022. Will probably be the fortieth general house launch try from Florida’s Area Coast this yr. , together with launches by SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, and Astra.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launches on Starlink mission 4-34. Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

About quarter-hour after liftoff, the higher stage of the Falcon 9 rocket launched 54 Starlink satellites over the North Atlantic Ocean touring at 17,000 mph. The satellites weighed 36,800 kilograms, or 16.7 metric tons.

The Starlink 4-34 mission is the third of 5 Falcon 9 missions on SpaceX’s schedule this month. Tom Ochinero, SpaceX’s vp of business gross sales, stated final week on the World Satellite tv for pc Enterprise Week convention in Paris that the corporate goals to finish greater than 60 launches this yr. , with a purpose of 100 rocket missions by 2023, the spectacular improve continues. The SpaceX launch cadence.

The upper launch price was helped by shorter turnarounds between missions at launch pads in Florida and California, and SpaceX’s use of Falcon 9 boosters and payloads. Satellite tv for pc launches for SpaceX’s personal Starlink Web community, corresponding to Sunday night time’s mission, have accounted for two-thirds of the corporate’s Falcon 9 flights to this point this yr.

The subsequent Falcon 9 launch for the Starlink community was scheduled for September 19 from Cape Canaveral, however is more likely to be delayed to the final week of September because of climate disturbances for the Starlink mission 4-34.

Final month, SpaceX started flying 54 Starlink satellites on a devoted Falcon 9 flight, yet another spacecraft than the corporate has launched on earlier missions. SpaceX has examined completely different engine throttle settings and different minor modifications to increase the Falcon 9’s efficiency.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands on pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Area Power Station earlier than liftoff on Starlink mission 4-34. Credit score: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now

SpaceX take a look at fired the Falcon 9 booster for the Starlink 4-34 mission on the launch web site on Sept. 11. There was a daily fireplace take a look at on Sept. 10. Canceled because of extreme thunderstorms transferring by Cape Canaveral Harbor.

The booster that flew Sunday night time is designated B1067 on SpaceX’s checklist of usable rockets. The booster launched two astronaut missions to the Worldwide Area Station, plus two resupply flights to the station. He additionally launched the Turksat 5B telecommunications satellite tv for pc in Turkey.

The primary stage accomplished its sixth flight into house on Sunday night time, and ended up touchdown on track on a SpaceX drone ship parked within the Atlantic Ocean.

Together with the Starlink 4-34 mission, SpaceX launched 3,347 Starlink Web satellites, together with prototypes and decommissioned take a look at items. Saturday’s launch might be SpaceX’s 61st devoted mission to launch the Starlink Web satellite tv for pc into orbit.

Sitting contained in the launch management heart south of the Cape Canaveral Area Power base for the countdown Sunday night time, the SpaceX launch crew started loading supercooled gas and liquid oxygen into it. in a Falcon 9 automobile at T-minus 35 minutes.

Helium stress was additionally pumped into the rocket within the final half hour of the countdown. Within the final seven minutes earlier than liftoff, the Falcon 9’s foremost Merlin engine was cooled down for flight in a course of known as “chilldown.” The steerage and security programs of the Falcon 9 had been additionally developed for the launch.

After liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket launched 1.7 million kilos of thrust – powered by 9 Merlin engines – to information the northeast Atlantic Ocean.

The rocket exceeded the velocity of sound in a couple of minute, then shut down its 9 foremost engines two and a half minutes after liftoff. The booster stage launched from the Falcon 9’s higher stage, then fired pulses from the chilly gasoline engine and expanded its titanium fins to assist propel the automobile again into the air.

Two braking fires slowed the rocket aboard the Simply Learn the Directions drone about 400 miles (650 kilometers) down about eight and a half minutes after liftoff.

Credit score: Spaceflight Now

Falcon 9’s reusable payload fairing got here off throughout the second stage burn. A rescue ship was additionally on the Atlantic docks to retrieve the 2 items of the nostril after taking pictures beneath parachutes.

The touchdown of the primary stage of the mission on Sunday occurred shortly after the Falcon 9’s second stage engine minimize off to ship the Starlink satellite tv for pc into orbit. The separation of the Starlink 54 spacecraft, constructed by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, from the Falcon 9 rocket was confirmed at T + plus quarter-hour, 21 seconds.

The holding rod launched from the Starlink payload stack, permitting the flatbed satellite tv for pc to fly free on the Falcon 9’s higher stage in orbit. Spacecraft 54 ​​will launch the photo voltaic array and run by an computerized activation section, then use krypton ion engines to maneuver into orbit.

Falcon 9’s steerage pc was supposed to put the satellites in an elliptical orbit at an inclination of 53.2 levels to the equator. The satellites will use onboard propulsion to do the remainder of the work to achieve a round orbit 335 miles (540 kilometers) above Earth.

The Starlink satellite tv for pc will fly in considered one of 5 orbital “shells” in numerous orientations for SpaceX’s world Web community. As soon as of their operational orbit, the satellites will enter industrial service and start transmitting broadband alerts to clients, who should buy Starlink providers and hook up with the community with a terminal. on the bottom supplied by SpaceX.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1067.6)

PAYLOAD: 54 Starlink satellites (Starlink 4-34)

PROGRESS SITE: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Area Power Station, Florida

Date of supply: September 18, 2022

TIMETABLE: 8:18:40 pm EDT (0018:40 GMT on September 19)

CHARACTERISTICS: 40% likelihood of honest climate; Low danger of excessive winds; The low danger of the mistaken state of affairs with booster restoration

RECOVERY BOOSTER: “Simply learn the directions” drone ship east of Charleston, South Carolina


TARGET ORBIT: 144 miles by 208 miles (232 miles by 336 kilometers), 53.2 levels.


  • T+00:00: Departure
  • T+01:12: Most aerodynamic stress (Max-Q)
  • T+02:27: First stage foremost engine (MECO) minimize off
  • T+02:31: Section separation
  • T+02:36: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:42: Cargo
  • T+06:48: First stage inlet burn (three engines)
  • T+07:07: Interruption of first stage inlet combustion
  • T+08:26: Burnout (one engine)
  • T+08:40: Second stage engine minimize off (SECO 1)
  • T+08:47: First elevate
  • T+15:21: Separation of Starlink satellites


  • That is the 176th launch of the Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • 184th launch of the Falcon rocket household since 2006
  • sixth launch of Falcon 9 booster B1067
  • The 151st Falcon 9 from Florida’s Area Coast
  • 97th Falcon 9 from pad 40
  • 152nd launch general from 40 pads
  • 118th flight of a reused Falcon 9 booster
  • 61st devoted Falcon 9 with Starlink satellite tv for pc
  • forty second Falcon 9 in 2022
  • SpaceX’s forty second launch in 2022
  • fortieth orbital launch take a look at primarily based at Cape Canaveral in 2022

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Comply with Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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