Falcon 9 Rocket Sets New Payload Weight Record During SpaceX Starlink Launch
SpaceX’s incredibly reliable Falcon 9 continues to impress. The rocket launched 56 Starlink satellites into orbit this morning, and with a total weight of around 17.4 tons, it is now the heaviest payload ever lifted by a Falcon 9 rocket.
Bustaus occurred at 4:22 p.m. ET on Thursday, with the 229 foot tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 launches from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The first stage booster, participating in its ninth launch, returned to Earth about nine minutes later. land safely on the Just read the instructions Drone ship stationed northeast of the Bahamas. SpaceX later Confirmed that the rocket successfully deployed all 56 Starlink satellites.
Routine things, apart from the weight. With a combined payload weight of more than 17.4 tons, the mission is the “heaviest payload ever flown on a Falcon 9,” announced SpaceX in a tweet. the previous record of payload weight for Falcon 9 was set in August 2022 when the rocket lifted 16.7 tons into orbit. “The most likely explanation for the heavier payload seems to be further iterative improvement of Falcon 9.” according to to Teslarati.
In terms of volume, the 56 satellites fall far short of the Falcon 9 record set in January 2021 Rocket delivered 143 satellites as part of the Transporter-1 ride-along mission. Additionally, SpaceX has routinely launched 60 V1.0 Starlinks for a 2019-2021 stretch. The updated V1.5 units are heavier, forcing SpaceX to release lower volumes with its reusable Falcon 9. The medium-lift rocket’s nine Merlin engines exert 1.7 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.
G/O Media may receive a commission
The newly launched Starlinks will now climb into its operational orbit – an aircraft designed as the Starlink 5-2. This is SpaceX’s second Starlink deployment for this envelope, the first being a batch of 54 satellites launched on December 28, 2022. This case is for the second-Generation Starlinks, causing a great deal of confusion as to what type of satellite is being commissioned today.
Second-Generation Starlinks, known as Gen2, will be larger than previous versions, with additional features that allow direct connection to mobile phones, hence the most recent arrangement between SpaceX and T-Mobile. Gen2s should too Improvement in Starlink coverage in the lower latitudes. The Starlink system now boasts over a million subscribers and is available on all continents, Antarctica included.
But the heavier, bulkier Gen2s require a rocket that has yet to be launched: Starship. Until SpaceX’s new mega rocket is considered airworthy, the company plans to launch Gen2 miniatures in the same form factor as V1.5 Starlinks, allowing launches aboard Falcon 9.
Already in December When SpaceX sent the first batch of Starlinks to the Gen2 case, many space experts assumed the company was sending the miniature Gen2 into space. However, research by Harvard-Smithsonian astronomer Jonathan McDowell put those rumors to rest when he learned that SpaceX is still launching V1.5 Starlinks into space.
Today’s launch was likely the same, with a series of V1.5 Starlinks being launched into low Earth orbit. Or at least that’s my best guess. As McDowell tweeted at the time, “SpaceX is consistently vague in everything they say.” Certainly. And it doesn’t help that SpaceX doesn’t respond to media questions; so much for CEO Elon Musk declared obsession with transparency.
On December 1st, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized the launch of 7,500 Gen2s, out of SpaceX’s planned 29,988. The FCC is deferring its decision on the remaining entities to a later date, saying the deferral will “protect other satellite and terrestrial operators from harmful interference and maintain a safe space environment, promote competition, and protect spectrum and orbital resources for future use.” “.
SpaceX recently conducted a full wet dress rehearsal of Starshipas such, it may only be a matter of time before the company can begin launching its oversized Gen2 Starlinks into orbit.
More: SpaceX Receives “Partial” FCC Approval to Deploy Second-Generation Starlink Satellites
https://gizmodo.com/spacex-falcon-9-payload-weight-record-starlink-1850037136 Falcon 9 Rocket Sets New Payload Weight Record During SpaceX Starlink Launch