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WATCH LIVE: SpaceX to Launch Falcon 9 rocket Starlink mission from LC-39A #Starlink-17 @08:02am ET

Published on 20 Jan 2021 / In News & Politics

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Starlink 17 mission with the next batch of 60 Starlink satellites. The rocket will lift off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Launch window begins at 08:02am ET (01:02pm UTC)

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Starlink 17 (also known as Starlink 16) will mark the 16th operational Starlink mission, boosting the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 1013. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, 633 km downrange.

Starlink is SpaceX’s internet communication satellite constellation. The Low-Earth orbit constellation will deliver fast, low-latency internet service to locations where ground-based internet is unreliable, unavailable, or expensive. The Falcon 9 Block 5 is SpaceX’s partially reusable two-stage medium-lift launch vehicle. Block 5 is the final iteration of the Falcon 9. The Falcon 9 contains 3 main components: a reusable first stage, an expendable second stage, and a reusable fairing.

The booster supporting this mission, B1051, has flown seven times, making Starlink 17 its 8th flight. Its maiden flight was launching the first Crew Dragon for their uncrewed Demo-1 mission on March 2, 2019. The booster’s second flight was launching the RADARSAT constellation from Vandenburg, on June 12, 2019. B1051 then launched the Starlink V1.0 L3, L6, L9, and L13. The booster’s seventh flight was on the SXM-7 mission, which launched on December 13, 2020.

SpaceX is the first entity ever that recovers and reflies its fairings. The recovery vessels, Go Ms. Tree and Go Ms. Chief, will attempt to recover the fairing halves. After being jettisoned, the two fairing halves will use cold gas thrusters to orientate themselves as they descend through the atmosphere. Once at a lower altitude, they will deploy parafoils to help them glide down to a soft landing for recovery.

This will be the 2nd launch for SpaceX in 2021 and 105th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket.
This will also mark the first booster to fly for a 8th time and 22nd consecutive booster landing.

Courtesy of SpaceX
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