SpaceX achieved another successful deployment of its Starlink internet satellites on September 12th. The launch took place at California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base using a Falcon 9 rocket. A total of 21 Starlink spacecraft were released into orbit. This marked SpaceX’s 64th mission for the year, surpassing its previous record of 61 launches in a year.
After the launch, the Falcon 9’s initial stage executed a planned descent back to Earth and successfully landed on the SpaceX droneship “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Pacific Ocean. The landing occurred approximately 8.5 minutes after liftoff.
The deployment of the Starlink satellites brings the total number of operational satellites in orbit to over 4,600. SpaceX aims to significantly increase this number, with ambitions to reach as many as 42,000 satellites in the long term. The expansion of the Starlink megaconstellation is a key focus for SpaceX.
Additionally, this successful mission marked the 11th launch and landing for the first-stage booster, a significant milestone for SpaceX. The Falcon 9’s upper stage is scheduled to deploy the Starlink satellites into their designated orbits approximately 62 minutes after liftoff.
SpaceX continues to push the boundaries of space technology and remains at the forefront of global space missions. The successful deployment of the Starlink satellites and precision landing of the Falcon 9 rocket demonstrate their capabilities in the field.