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WATCH NOW: SpaceX to Launch Falcon 9 rocket Starlink mission from LC-39A #Starlink20 @replay

Published on 04 Mar 2021 / In Travel & Events

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Starlink 20 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 03:24am ET (08:24am UTC)

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Starlink 20 will mark the 19th operational Starlink mission, boosting the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 1205. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” 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, B1049, has flown seven times, making Starlink 20 its 8th flight. Its maiden flight was launching the Telstar 18V satellite on September 10, 2018. The booster’s second flight was launching the Iridium NEXT-8 mission from Vandenberg, on January 11, 2019. B1049 then launched the Starlink V0.9 mission. The booster then supported the Starlink V1.0 L2, L7, L10, and L15 missions.

SpaceX is the first entity ever that recovers and reflies its fairings. The recovery vessels, GO Navigator and GO Searcher, 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 6th launch for SpaceX in 2021, 109th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket and 55th re-flight of a booster.

Courtesy of SpaceX
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