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A Dawning Launch at Kennedy, as Falcon 9 soars up with Starlink G4-18 satellites.

SpaceX launch mission added another 53 internet relay satellites to Orbit.

The Falcon 9 rocket took off from the LC-39A (Credit: SpaceX/ Ben Cooper)

Wednesday, May 18, 2022, SpaceX launched Falcon 9 Block 5 number B1052.5 with an additional 53 Starlink satellites into Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Lift-off was at 6:59 ET, or 10:59 UTC which was delayed and rescheduled half an hour forward . The mission was named v1.5 L18, or Group 4-18.

Falcon 9 rocket lift-off from Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center, FL( Photo Credit: SpaceX

The B1052 first stage 'core' of this mission previously used to launch its Arabsat-6A mission and the Space Test Project-2 flight for the U.S. Space Force (both as one of two side boosters on a Falcon Heavy rocket); as well as the COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 satellite for Italy and an earlier Starlink G4-10 flight.

Falcon 9 B1052-5 booster landed on ASOG Droneship in Atlantic Ocean

After separating the stages, the first stage of the rocket booster returned to Earth and landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean 636 km away. The ship Doug followed to recover the fairing shells 645 km away from the Cape.

Infographics by S.I and HDE

Starlink v1.5 Satellites (863 to 915) released in a single stack from the rocket's second stage adapter, after the second ignition of its engine, into an initial perigee of 304 and the apogee of 318 kilometer orbit, inclined at 53.2 degrees. They will then move on to their final orbits, with each satellite taking an individualized trajectory. SpaceX launched more than 200 satellites in this month, and they will be continuing their busy launch campain for both commercial / customer and it's own starlink missions in upcoming weeks.

Launch, Landing and Deployment Timeline (HH:mm:ss)

  • 00:00:00 Lift-off

  • 00:01:02 Max Q (moment of maximum mechanical stress on the rocket)

  • 00:02:30 Cut off the main engine of the 1st stage (MECO)

  • 00:02:33 separation of first and second stages (staging)

  • 00:02:40 2nd stage engines ignition

  • 00:02:47 Fairing Jettison

  • 00:06:15 1st stage re-entry burn start

  • 00:06:34 1st stage re-entry burn completed

  • 00:08: 01 Start of the 1st stage landing burn.

  • 00:08:23 1st stage landing

  • 00:08:45 2nd stage engine shutdown (SECO-1)

  • 00:45:23 2nd stage engines ignition (SES-2)

  • 00:45:25 2nd stage engine cutout (SECO-2)

  • 00:59:17 Starlink satellites are deployed

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