Top NewsSpaceX launches Scrubs Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral...

SpaceX launches Scrubs Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral on Starlink mission – Space Travel Now

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FILE: A Falcon 9 rocket prepares to launch a Starlink mission. Image: SpaceX

Update 7:52 pm EST: SpaceX has scrapped Saturday's launch attempt.

SpaceX pulled out of its Saturday night Starlink launch attempt. A Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink satellites is now on target for liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Sunday, January 14 at 7:27 pm EST (0027 UTC).

The company plans to launch at a rate of once every four days or more from Cape by the end of 2023. However, one of the two Florida-based droneships' read the instructions. ,' is still on the sidelines after being damaged during a booster recovery in late December.

SpaceFlight Now will have live launch coverage beginning one hour before liftoff.

The first stage booster supporting the Saturday evening launch, tail number B1073, will make its 12th flight on the Starlink 6-37 mission. Its legacy includes ispace's HAKUTO-R Mission 1 lander, SpaceX's 27th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-27) mission, and seven Starlink missions.

About 8.5 minutes later, B1073 will land on the drone ship, 'A Shortfall of Gravitas'. This is the 57th landing in ASOG and the 263rd SpaceX booster landing to date. SpaceX will attempt to recover the payload fairings.

Starlink Driving Business

Starlink missions have been a cornerstone of SpaceX's business model. During a company speech posted on social media, SpaceX founder Elon Musk spoke of 96 Falcon flights by 2023, two-thirds for Starlink missions.

Musk pointed out that the previous record was 63 launches in one year by the Russian family of Soyuz rockets. Using just the Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has launched 63 Starlink missions by 2023. He joked about the increasing pace of launches powered by broadband Internet satellites.

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“For a while there, I thought, 'Did this just happen or is it happening?' I'll post something like, “Because there were three launches in a few days,” Musk said. “Everything [96] To obit it, all landed. So, a big hand for the Falcon team.

Musk noted that they will continue to fly Starlink V2 minis until the Starship rocket begins launching full-sized Starlink V2 satellites, which Musk said could be called Starlink V3.

“Starling's biggest, single goal from a technology standpoint is to get average latency below 20 milliseconds,” Musk said, adding that he ultimately wants to be faster than a network-based system. A few minutes later, he noted that Starlink was not intended to replace the terrestrial Internet.

“It's great for low population density areas, but it's not really going to be competitive in high density cities,” Musk said. “It's really low-density situations, where it's really needed.

He added that they are working to implement Starlink service in more than half of the world's population by the end of 2024. Musk added, “We're introducing the Starlink Mini user terminal that fits in a backpack.”

During a company-wide speech posted on social media, SpaceX founder Elon Musk mentioned that the Starlink Mini user terminal will be introduced to customers in 2024. Image: SpaceX

Big ambitions

SpaceX expects its record launch year to be the highest in 2023. Musk said his goal is to reach about 150 missiles, including Starship missiles. To achieve that, SpaceX needs to increase the turnaround rate for its three launch pads.

Musk said he hopes to have that rate within 24 hours by the end of the year. However, he did not elaborate on what steps SpaceX will take to achieve that goal from the pad infrastructure level.

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However he said they are working to double the launch qualifications for their Falcon first stage booster fleet.

“We've completed the 19th reflight. We're now qualified to do 40 flights for the Falcon 9,” Musk said. “And then, don't forget the fairing recovery, because actually, a lot of people don't realize we're also recovering the fairings.”

Musk said they've recovered payload fairings 300 times. They hope to add two more to this tally following Saturday night's work.

An illustration of SpaceX's Falcon 9 payload fairings was shared in early January 2024 during a company-wide talk hosted by founder Elon Musk. Image: SpaceX

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