SpaceX conducts consecutive Starlink missions with back-to-back launches.

SpaceX conducts consecutive Starlink missions with back-to-back launches.

Over the weekend, SpaceX achieved a dual success by executing two consecutive launches of Starlink satellites. The events unfolded in the evening, with a little over five hours between each launch. The first took place at Space Launch Complex-40 in Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, while the second occurred at Space Launch Complex-4E in California.

The deployment of 46 Starlink satellites during these launches marked SpaceX's 23rd and 24th missions of the year and the fifth mission for the month. The Falcon 9 rocket, responsible for carrying 23 Starlink satellites into orbit from Florida, propelled them into a 42-degree orbital inclination, contributing to the expansion of the Group 6 constellation. This specific batch was designated Group 6-43 and successfully deployed just over an hour after liftoff.

Notably, the Falcon 9 rocket used for this mission, identified as B1077, completed its 11th launch and landing. It had previously been in action a mere 40 days ago. The rocket landed on the droneship 'Just Read the Instructions' approximately eight and a half minutes after liftoff. Additionally, the fairings employed in this mission were recycled, having safeguarded the USSF-124 mission only 25 days prior, setting a record for the fastest turnaround time for fairing reuse.

A little more than 5 hours later, Falcon 9 B1063 accomplished its 17th mission with success. Notably, this Falcon 9 had completed its previous mission 47 days ago. Following liftoff from the Californian coastline, the Falcon 9 made a controlled landing on the droneship 'Of Course I Still Love You' just over 8 minutes later.

The payload for this mission comprised 23 Starlink satellites from the Group 7-17 batch, launched into a 53-degree orbital inclination. SpaceX has recently expanded the inclusion of additional Starlink satellites in missions, benefiting from further optimizations in Falcon 9's performance. It's worth noting that the 53-degree orbital inclination Starlink missions were previously exclusive to California launches. However, a recent agreement with the Bahamian government now allows these missions to take off from Florida as well, enabling SpaceX to enhance its launch frequency.

Looking ahead, the next event on SpaceX's agenda is the return of Crew 7 to Earth, concluding their nearly 6-month residency aboard the International Space Station. Having already undocked from the ISS, the Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to splash down on March 12th.

 

 

-------The article excerpted from TESLARATI.

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