SpaceX has launched a new constellation of satellites Starlink

Andrew Cummings
October 25, 2020

The firm further explained in a statement that it is the only launch provider in the world capable of precision landing an orbital rocket after it reenters Earth's atmosphere.

The launch is scheduled for 11:31 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40. As usual, 60 Starlink v1.0 satellites - weighing about 16 metric tons (~ 35,000 lb) - were loaded inside the Falcon 9's consumable second-stage payload fairing. The second stage ignited its Merlin Vacuum (MVac) engine seconds later, burning towards an initial low Earth parking orbit for a six minutes.

SpaceX will try to launch the company's next batch of Starlink satellites on Saturday, after an issue with a camera forced it to scrub an attempt earlier this week.

Had SpaceX managed to avoid three days of delay, Starlink-14 would have seen the B1060 break the B1058 record with three days. One of SpaceX's launch vehicles delivered the 60 miniature satellites in a space mission inaugurated in May 2019. Thus, the first stage successfully returned for the third time, landing on an autonomous barge called Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean.

Starlink is SpaceX's 5-year-old project to place thousands of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to enable internet access globally. Including Falcon 1 and Falcon Heavy, Starlink-14 also marked SpaceX's 100th successful launch since the company's first success in September 2008.

SpaceX, known for its reusable rockets and astronaut capsules, is ramping up satellite production for Starlink, a growing constellation of hundreds of internet-beaming satellites that Musk hopes will generate enough revenue to help fund SpaceX's interplanetary goals. SpaceX has already indicated that the first public Starlink beta tests will begin to rollout once Starlink-13 satellites are operational - a milestone they will likely cross in November.

SpaceX inaugurated a satellite cluster of 60 SmallSats to establish its robust network of broadband satellites to boost internet access services.

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