Startlink has completed its 12th mission today (10th of the year), launching another batch of 60 low Earth orbiting satellites in Earth’s orbit. The mission went quite smoothly, and was the first one in a long time when Starlink didn’t break one of its own record.
The launch happened at the company’s staple launch facility in Kennedy Space Center, Florida, with a Falcon 9 rocket that had previously flown on a similar mission back in June.
SpaceX also managed to recover the Falcon 9 booster once again with a controlled landing at the ‘Of Course I still Love You’ landing ship.
It is also worth mentioning that this launch carried an exact of 60 Starlink satellites, something that hadn’t happened from a long time. SpaceX started with missions of 60 satellites, but went on to carry payloads from customer companies as well, which usually reduced the number of Starlink satellites per mission. For example, the last mission had just 58 company satellites on board. This was done to make space for three of the company’s customer- Planet’s SkySats spacecraft.
The company has been trying to build a constellation of these satellites, which will then provide globe spanning, high speed low latency Internet to everyone. Starlink hopes to start an early version of the service by the end of the year, and in time, provide Internet to anyone and everyone on the planet at a cost effective price.
Today’s launch brings Starlink another step closer to achieving this dream. However, due to the major success it has gotten over the years, Starlink has also started seeing some competition, with Amazon’s sister company Blue Origin also announcing a constellation of its own.