SpaceX Sets New Re-Flight Record with 23 Starlink Satellites
SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company founded by Elon Musk, has once again achieved a remarkable feat in space exploration. The company successfully launched 23 Starlink satellites on a Falcon 9 booster that had previously been flown 18 times, setting a new re-flight record.
The mission, known as Starlink 6-26, took place at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The satellites were deployed in low Earth orbit, adding to the ever-growing Starlink constellation. With this launch, the total number of Starlink satellites launched in 2023 has reached an impressive 1,711.
The Falcon 9 booster used in this mission, B1058, holds a special place in SpaceX’s history. It is the oldest currently flying Falcon 9 booster and made its maiden flight in May 2020 when it carried NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. This remarkable reusability of boosters demonstrates SpaceX’s commitment to revolutionizing space travel and reducing costs.
After a successful liftoff, the booster made a precise landing on the droneship named ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas.’ This landing further solidifies the company’s capability to recover and reuse boosters, contributing to the sustainability of space missions.
The Starlink 6-26 mission marks the 152nd orbital launch for SpaceX from Space Launch Complex 40, and the 207th overall launch from the site. The achievements of the company not only in the field of telecommunications but also in space exploration continue to astound the world.
In addition to this milestone, SpaceX is also making preparations for another mission at Launch Complex 39A. However, the launch has been delayed due to an issue with one of the Draco thrusters on the Cargo Dragon. NASA announced a two-day slip for the launch, which is now set for November 9. The delay is a result of a leak of nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer in a Draco thruster valve, which necessitated a replacement.
SpaceX remains at the forefront of technological advancements in space exploration. With each successful launch and re-flight, the company pushes the boundaries of what is possible, bringing us closer to a future where space travel and satellite communication are more accessible and sustainable than ever before.
“Infuriatingly humble tv expert. Friendly student. Travel fanatic. Bacon fan. Unable to type with boxing gloves on.”