SpaceX has completed yet another successful Starlink launch, this time with the full batch of 60 Starlink satellites, on 6th October at 7:29 a.m. EDT, 11:29 UTC. This completes the 13th such launch, over which the company has transported as much as 700 satellites into orbit.
The launch happened at the company’s staple Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 9 minutes into the mission, the booster made a successful landing at the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ drone ship situated in Atlantic Ocean.
The satellites were carried into orbit by the legendary Falcon 9 from the historic Crew Dragon mission, which was SpaceX’s first manned mission and took NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. Moreover, one of the Falcon 9’s fairing halves had been used on two previous Starlink mission.
As mentioned in previous articles, the company has also been trying to catch fairing halves in addition to the actual booster to save costs and cut down on turnaround time. During this mission, one half of the fairing was caught successfully by “Ms. Tree,” while the other fell into the Atlantic Ocean. However, SpaceX says that it will try to fish out that part as well.
Ms. Tree caught the fairing half that flew in support of two previous missions! pic.twitter.com/p61bdBrdRP
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 6, 2020
The company is now very close to the final version of its globe spanning, low latency high speed internet service, and has already started a closed beta. It’s possible that we might see a public beta before the end of the year, if things go according to the plan and the company does not run into a lot of delays.
This mission was special for the company, as it had been postponed three times till now–two times because of bad weather conditions, and once because of unusual sensor reading.