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SpaceX has put another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit and now there are 833 of them.

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SpaceX (again) launched and landed the same Falcon 9 stage for the sixth time, and also used both fairing flaps for the third time (and caught them)

In the afternoon of October 18, SpaceX conducted another successful launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle with the Starlink 13 v1.0 mission, sending a new batch of 60 Internet satellites into orbit. SpaceX successfully launched the Starlink satellites into orbit, landed the first stage, which had already flown five times before, on an offshore platform and caught the fairing flap, which had been used twice before, into the service ship’s network. The launch was streamed as usual on SpaceX’s YouTube channel.

Launch details

The Falcon 9 rocket launched from the LC-39A site at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 18 at 15:26 Kiev time.

According to the already worked out scheme, two and a half minutes later the first stage separated, and in the ninth minute after launch it landed

During the launch, SpaceX used and landed the same first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket for the sixth time. This is the second such launch. SpaceX first launched and returned the same first stage of the Falcon 9 for the sixth time during the August Starlink 10 v1.0 mission.

Recall that the current version of the Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket can be reused up to 10 times with intermediate technical inspections and up to 100 times with partial replacement of first stage parts. And while SpaceX is gradually reducing the intervals between launches of the same stage, it is still far from plans Ilona Mask to launch the same stage twice a day. The current Falcon 9 reuse speed record is 51 days.

For this mission, SpaceX also used a remanufactured fairing – both flaps had previously been used twice. This is the current record – the same leaf has not yet flown more than three times. During the broadcast, it was said that SpaceX was able to catch both flaps in the network, but in the case of Ms. Tree, the network broke.

Recall that SpaceX catches the fairing flaps with the help of special ships Ms. Tree and Ms. Chief with a large stretched net. Last year, for the first time after many attempts, it caught a piece of a head fairing in a net, and last month, as part of an ANASIS-II launch, it caught both pieces of a fairing in a net for the first time. SpaceX also adapted to use the fairing flaps, caught after soft splashdowns on parachutes. The fairing costs about $ 6 million to manufacture (about 10% of the rocket cost).

The second stage worked normally and eventually delivered the satellites to the planned orbit. In the coming weeks, they will reach target orbits using their own Hall-effect engines powered by krypton and will begin work.

Starlink

SpaceX has been developing the Starlink project since the end of 2014, when Elon Musk first announced plans to connect the whole world with global satellite Internet. With this launch, the Starlink satellite constellation reached 833 units. Since the beginning of the year, SpaceX has already conducted 12 (!) Launches in the interests of Starlink, and by the end of this year, Elon Musk’s company plans to perform three more Starlink launches.

Not so long ago, we got acquainted with the first test results from a closed beta test limited to the northern part of the United States and southern Canada. Wider testing of the Starlink system should begin following the launch of the Starlink 14 v1.0 mission, scheduled for October 21st. Starlink is scheduled to officially launch shortly thereafter. USA and Canada. ByA full-scale deployment of the Starlink network around the world is slated for the mid-2020s.

SpaceX has not yet said how much it will cost to buy a user terminal or how much it will have to pay for the service, but industry experts are talking about $ 100 a month.

In the foreseeable future, SpaceX may spin off the Starlink global satellite Internet project into a separate company and put it on the stock exchange. But as recently clarified Musk, this won’t happen soon. Learn more about the structure of the SpaceX satellite Internet system here.

  • In addition to the Falcon 9 family of rockets and Dragon ships used to deliver cargo and people, SpaceX is working on the Starship and Super Heavy project, which are promising next-generation super-heavy rocket and spacecraft. The rocket is designed as fully reusable, both of its stages will be able to make a soft landing after a flight into space. The rocket will be capable of delivering cargo weighing up to 150 tons in a fully reusable configuration with the return of both stages (Super Heavy and Starship) to Earth, as well as the possibility of docking and refueling in orbit. SpaceX plans to launch manned missions on this rocket in the coming years to create habitable bases on Mars and the Moon. 9 October prototype Starship SN8 passed cryogenic pressure testing and is now preparing to make the first full flight of 18 km (possibly before the end of this month).
  • On October 14, NASA announced the names of the companies that will receive money for the development of key space technologies in 2020 through the Tipping Point program, including SpaceX. Elon Musk’s company, which received $ 53 million, will have to pump ten tons of liquid oxygen in flight between the tanks inside Starship… The United Launch Alliance and Eta Space are also developing technologies for cryogenic fuel.
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