SpaceX Launches 51 Starlink Satellites to Orbit

Written by Reananda Hidayat Permono Completed Master of Science - MS, Petroleum Geology from Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

After a series of weather delays, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or SpaceX launched other internet satellites to orbit on Friday.

A Falcon 9 rocket and 51 Starlink spacecraft lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 10:38 am local time.

Nearly nine minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth for a landing on the SpaceX drone ship in the Pacific Ocean.

According to Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s mission description, it was the 12th launch for this particular booster.

The booster’s other missions were Crew-1 and Crew-2, SpaceX’s astronaut flights to the International Space Station.

Meanwhile, the Falcon 9’s upper stage continued flying toward low Earth orbit to deploy the Starlink satellites around 15.5 minutes after launch.

Yesterday’s mission had been delayed for days.

It was initially planned for Tuesday (Feb. 28), but SpaceX moved it to Thursday due to deconflict with prep work for another liftoff.

SpaceX announced another delay on Thursday because of the weather and shifted the launch to Friday.

Yesterday’s flight came a few days after another launch: A Falcon 9 brought 21 Starlink “V2 mini” satellites from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The V2 mini variant is more capable than the older Starlink spacecraft since it’s bigger.

Until now, SpaceX has launched more than 4,000 Starlink satellites into orbit.