The Elon Musk-owned spacecraft manufacturer, SpaceX has confirmed the deployment of 56 Starlink satellites to orbit. The deployment is part of the company’s mission to provide satellite internet access coverage to over 53 countries of the world via mobile phone service. The American spacecraft manufacturer confined the development in a recent tweet via its official Twitter handle earlier today.
Recall that the firm launched its 21st Starlink satellite on March 29th from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 4:01 p.m. EDT (2001 GMT), making its 11th launch this year. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which was launched topped with 56 Starlink satellites, was packed on top of the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) and rode 1.7 million pounds of ground-shaking thrust from nine kerosene-fueled Merlin main engines.
The Falcon 9 rocketed past the speed of sound in just over a minute as it flew from Cape Canaveral downrange toward the southeast. After two and a half minutes of launch, the rocket’s first stage executed a routine that had become accustomed to it. It then dropped away to start an arc toward SpaceX’s landing platform, or drone ship, which was located about 410 miles (660 kilometers) southeast of Cape Canaveral or northeast of the Bahamas.
About eight and a half minutes into the mission, the rocket, designated B1067 in SpaceX’s inventory, restarted a portion of its engines to slow down for re-entry and landing. Then, it landed on the deck of the floating platform. After ten space flights, the recovery team will return the rocket to Cape Canaveral for repairs in preparation for a future mission. The two sections of the rocket’s payload fairing, or nose cone, were to be recovered by a different SpaceX team stationed in the Atlantic when they parachuted into the water.
According to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell, SpaceX has now lofted more than 4,200 Starlink satellites overall. Although this is not the end, as we know that SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk, has been given permission to deploy 12,000 Starlink satellites in LEO and has also applied for permission for another 30,000 on top of that.