SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched and deployed 60 more satellites into orbit early Sunday morning. This mission has set a record of 9 trips for the Falcon 9 booster.
This adds on to SpaceX’s previous record of launching 60 satellites into low-Earth orbit. That mission amounted to 1,021 satellites.
Some of the previous missions the booster had been a part of include a test flight of the Demo-1 mission back in March 2019.
Deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed pic.twitter.com/AMLK4R9dMn
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 14, 2021
The Falcon 9 booster blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center at 3:01 a.m. PT (6:01 a.m. ET). After the second stage of the mission, the booster re-entered the atmosphere and landed safely on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean.
The satellites that detached from the rocket are a part of the Starlink constellation that is being built to provide internet access to areas with low internet connectivity. According to The Verge, SpaceX has been given the authority to launch 12,000 satellites.
The light that emitted from the rocket caused viewers in Philadelphia to look twice. The pictures taken during the launch look out of this world.
Over York, Pennsylvania 6:10 am EST 🙂 pic.twitter.com/cYDmSvHc6f
— Junction 116 (@junction116) March 14, 2021
After the launch, the contrails were hit by the sunlight and caused noctilucent clouds which are brighter than the other clouds due to their height. News Channel 8 writes that at this height, 100,000 feet, the contrail is made of ice crystals.
This streak of satellites and records are supposed to resume in the next coming days. According to Tech Crunch, this is the third launch in the past 10 days (about 1 and a half weeks). To continue the project, there will be two more satellite missions this month. One of which will be next Sunday.
It will be exciting to see the rest of the satellites launched and having internet access in rural areas. I think it will be cool to see the Starlink constellation in the sky since it will be in low earth orbit or through a telescope.