SpaceX has successfully launched 60 more Starlink satellites to the lower earth orbit (LEO) in the Starlink v1.0 L19 mission (#Starlink19). Unfortunately this time the Falcon 9 rocket was not able to properly land on the ‘of course I still love you’ drone ship. SpaceX lost 1 rocket booster in the last 12 satellite launches.
The Falcon 9 liftoff from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station was nothing less than perfect as we can witness in the official video released by SpaceX.
SpaceX also posted a video of the successful deployment of 60 Starlink satellites drifting away from the Falcon 9 seconds sage. This a great sight to look at, a video recorded from the spaceship itself.
The Falcon 9 second stage deployed the Starlink satellites LEO after around T+ 1 hour into the mission. The 2nd stage has a single Merlin Vaccum (MVac) engine that ignites after the first stage separates from the fairing (2nd stage). According to SpaceX, at full power, the Merlin Vaccum engine operates at the greatest efficiency ever for an American-made hydrocarbon rocket engine.
One of the major contributors in inventing the Merlin engine and SpaceX founding engineer Tom Mueller has now retired from the space exploration company but he has left a great legacy behind.
This was the sixth mission for this specific Falcon 9 booster which is now lost due to the failed landing. This Falcon 9 rocket supported Dragon’s 19th and 20th cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station, SAOCOM 1B, NROL-108, and a Starlink mission.
SpaceX has recently upgraded its Starlink satellites with laser links but for now, only polar orbit Starlinks are laser-linked. The Starlink satellite constellation is aimed at providing high-speed low-latency internet service to even the most remote locations on our planet.
SpaceX live-streamed the entire launch and Starlink satellite deployment on YouTube to excite the space enthusiasts.