A live stream shown on SpaceX's YouTube channel presents the company's first 2021 mission as it successfully blasted off after it lifted its 17th batch of Starlink satellites into lower-Earth orbit" via Falcon 9 rocket, making a record-breaking landing.
According to an Interesting Engineering report, the Falcon 9 rocket propelled from Florida early yesterday and delivered its satellites minus any issue about an hour following a blast-off.
This most recent launch is expanding the size of the Starlink constellation of SpaceX to almost 1,000 satellites, as the firm expanded its "beta access program" to provide added service in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Following the successful launch and the deployment of Starlink satellite, Falcon 9, which had flown about seven times before, successfully landed on what was described as a "sea-based drone landing pad.
Lesser Cancelled Missions
Yesterday's launch is considered historic as well, as it involved a landing attempt within what's known as "envelop expansion" condition, where the winds in the landing zone of the drone recovery ship went beyond SpaceX's defined safety window to complete landings minus incident.
With this most recent success SpaceX, the company may raise its wind-speed maximum tolerance for its Falcon 9 recovery. Meaning, there will be lesser cancelled mission from extreme weather.
Furthermore, the said launch is said to have come "on the heels of a scrubbed launch" on January 19 when SpaceX there was a need for one more day to push the said rocket by means of added pre-launch checkouts, as this was to be, and became the first time the workhorse rocket booster of the space company flew eight consecutive missions.
The said delay proved to be a right move as the Falcon 9 blasted off and landed on a drone ship called Just Read The Instructions" in the Atlantic Ocean minus the issues, a feat that marked the 72nd landing for SpaceX rocket, as well.
1 of 2 Record-Setting Boosters
Yesterday's launch of the Falcon 9 rocket is one of the "two record-setting boosters" active in the total fleet of SpaceX.
Identified as B1051, this veteran booster was also a record breaker in terms of making the speediest turnaround times between flights, since one flew as recently as late last year, specifically on December 13.
According to the said report, the B1051 Falcon 9 booster has lifted various types of payloads into low-Earth orbit, which includes the unmanned Dragon spacecraft, which congregated with the International Space Station during a flight test in 2019. It launched three satellites for Canada later and four other distinct missions of Starlink.
The 102nd Flight for Falcon 9
During the flight of the Falcon 9 in December 2020, the rocket lifted a seven-thousand-kilogram Sirius XM satellite into Earth orbit, that's due to connect subscribers of Sirius to content within Canada, the United States, and even the Caribbean.
Moreover, the flight yesterday also marked the 102nd flight for the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket model of SpaceX. To date, the company has two completely-functional drone-ship landing platforms. These are the "Of Course I Still Love You," and "Just Read The Instructions" platforms. Two more landing platform though, according to the said report, "might be on the horizon for the company."
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