Live countdown coverage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and its launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Starlink 4-25 mission will launch SpaceX’s next batch of 53 Starlink broadband satellites. Follow us Twitter.
SpaceX sent another batch of 53 Starlink internet satellites into orbit on Sunday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s 33rd mission of the year and the sixth launch in July. Liftoff took place from Platform 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:38 a.m. EDT (1338 GMT).
A Falcon 9 rocket landed on board a parked SpaceX drone in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral.
The rocket headed northeast of the Kennedy Space Center, aiming to connect broadband relay stations in an orbit between 144 miles and 210 miles (232 x 338 kilometers). 53 packed satellites were deployed from the upper stage of the Falcon 9 about 15 minutes after liftoff.
With Sunday’s mission, designated Starlink 4-25, SpaceX launched 2,957 Starlink satellites to the Internet, including prototypes and test units that are no longer in service. Sunday’s launch marks SpaceX’s 53rd mission primarily intended to put Starlink’s Internet satellites into orbit.
Parked inside a firing room at the Kennedy Launch Control Center, the SpaceX launch team began loading extremely cold condensed kerosene and liquid oxygen thrusters onto a 70-meter Falcon 9 at a 35-minute distance of the T-minus.
A helium compressor was also spilled on the rocket in the last half hour of the countdown. In the last seven minutes before takeoff, the Falcon 9 Merlin’s main engines were thermally adapted to fly through a procedure known as “chilldown”. The Falcon 9’s field guidance and security systems are also configured for launch.
After liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket checked its 1.7 million pounds of thrust — produced by nine Merlin engines — for guidance in the northeastern Atlantic.
The missile exceeded the speed of sound in about a minute and then turned off its nine main engines two and a half minutes after takeoff. The boost stage was fired from the Falcon 9’s upper stage, then fired pulses from cold gas control thrusters and extended titanium grille fins to help steer the vehicle back into the atmosphere.
Two ballistic burns caused the missile to slow as it landed aboard the drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” about 400 miles (650 kilometers) after about eight and a half minutes of take-off.
The Starlink 4-25 mission booster, known as B1062, launched on its eighth flight into space. It debuted with the launch of the US Military GPS Navigation Satellite in November 2020 and launched all manned Inspiration4 and Axiom-1 missions in September 2021 and April this year.
Recently, the booster rocket flew on June 8 with the Egyptian geostationary Nilesat 301 communications satellite.
The first stage of the landing on Sunday’s mission came moments after the Falcon 9’s second stage engine failed to put Starlink satellites into orbit. Spacecraft 53, built by SpaceX in Redmond, Washington, separated from a Falcon 9 rocket on T+ 15 minutes and 24 seconds more.
Retaining rods were fired from the Starlink payload stack, allowing the compact satellites to fly freely from the Falcon 9’s upper stage into orbit. Spacecraft 53 will rotate and power solar panels through automated activation steps, then use krypton-powered ion engines to maneuver into its operational orbit.
The Falcon 9’s guidance computer aims to deploy the satellites in an elliptical orbit with an orbital inclination of 53.2 degrees to the equator. The satellites will use onboard thrust to do the rest of the work to achieve a circular orbit 540 kilometers above Earth.
Starlink satellites will fly in one of five orbital “shells” in different directions to the global Internet of SpaceX. After reaching their operational orbit, the satellites will enter commercial service and begin transmitting broadband signals to consumers, who will be able to purchase Starlink service and connect to the network through a ground station provided by SpaceX.
Including the Starlink 4-25 mission on Sunday, SpaceX launched six Falcon 9 rockets in just 17 days this month, deploying 251 Starlink internet satellites over five flights, as well as sending a Dragon cargo pod to the International Space Station.
Rocket: Falcon 9 (B1062.8)
Useful download: 53 Starlink satellites (Starlink 4-25)
Release site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Lunch time: 24 July 2022
lunch time: 09:38:20 EST (1338:20 GMT)
weather forecast: 80% chance of acceptable weather; Low risk of upper level winds; Reduce the risk of unfavorable conditions to promote recovery
Supportive recovery: Drone ship named “A Shortfall of Gravitas” east of Charleston, South Carolina
AZIMUTE LAUNCH: Northeast
target orbit: 144 miles by 210 miles (232 kilometers by 338 kilometers), 53.2 degrees miles
- T+00:00: take off
- T+01: 12: Max Air Pressure (Max-Q)
- T+02:27: 1st stage main engine outage (MECO)
- T+02:30: Separation of the stage
- T+02:37: Start the engine in the second stage
- T+02:42: Get rid of the calm
- T+06:48: first stage input combustion ignition (three engines)
- T+07:08: 1st stage inlet combustion cut off
- T+08:25: 1st stage of combustion ignition (single engine)
- T+08:43: Second stage engine failure (SECO 1)
- T+08:46: First stage landing
- T+15:24: Starlink satellite disconnect
- Falcon 9 launched #167 since 2010
- The 175th launch of the Falcon family since 2006
- The eighth launch of Falcon 9 Booster B1062
- Falcon 9 #144 launched from the Florida Space Coast
- SpaceX52 launched from platform 39A
- General 146th version of the 39a . board
- Reusing Falcon 9 Booster Flight 109
- The launch of the 53rd Falcon 9 custom rocket with Starlink satellites
- The 33rd launch of Falcon 9 in 2022
- SpaceX33 launching in 2022
- Attempted 32nd orbital launch of Cape Canaveral in 2022
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