SpaceX sends 49 Starlink internet satellites to orbit marking first launch of 2022

On Thursday, January 6, Space X launched its first Falcon 9 rocket of the year 2022 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, sending a new stack of Starlink satellites into orbit. The Falcon 9 rocket was launched at 4:49 p.m. EST, carrying a stack of 49 Starlink satellites. According to reports from Space.com, during the broadcast of the launch, SpaceX engineer Jessie Anderson announced that Falcon 9 had been successfully launched from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39, carrying 49 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. .

About 1 hour after takeoff, SpaceX tweeted that all 49 Starlink satellites had deployed successfully. With 31 launches in a single year in 2021, SpaceX set a new record for the most launches in a year. SpaceX should continue to strive to keep its launch rate high this year.

35th dedicated Starlink launch since 2019

Thursday’s launch is Starlink’s 35th dedicated launch since 2019, according to Space.com. This is part of SpaceX’s ongoing attempts to build and upgrade its Starlink broadband infrastructure. With this launch, the total number of Starlink flat panel satellites has exceeded 2,000. It also supports the company’s attempts to launch new satellites that have been improved over the years. The company has equipped the satellites with special laser links to allow them to interact with each other. Without relying on ground relays, satellites will be able to communicate more effectively.

This launch will also take a different direction from previous flights, as the rocket was launched from the southeast coast of Florida rather than from the usual northeast trajectory. SpaceX is targeting a parking spot a few hundred miles above Earth at a tilt of 53.2 degrees, which is one of five orbital shells the company is looking to fill with 4,400 satellites, according to Space. com. These shells will be placed between 540 and 560 kilometers above the planet, at orbital inclinations of 53, 53.2, 70 and 97.6 degrees, respectively.

Two more Falcon 9 missions with Starlink satellites are planned

This month, two more Falcon 9 missions with Starlink satellites are planned, according to Space Flight Now. However, the launch dates were not revealed Thursday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX’s Starlink launch on Thursday marked the company’s first launch from the southeast coast of Florida.

Image: @ SpaceX / Twitter