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SpaceX has launched the G3-04 batch of Starlink satellites

Rocket Booster B1063.7 took off from Vandenberg with 46 satellites

Falcon 9 v1.2 FT BL5 rocket number 1063.7 takes off from Vandenberg, Photo Credit: SpaceX

August 31, 2022, Wednesday, SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 v1.2 FT BL5 s/n 1063.7 rocket with batch G3-04 of forty-six Starlink satellites in an initial orbit of 230 × 330 km, inclined at 97º. The rocket took off from the SLC-4E complex at Vandenberg SFB, California, at 05:40 UTC (01:40 EDT), and the release of the satellites into orbit took place at 06:43:10.840 UTC – 02:43:10.840.EDT.

A Starlink satellite v1.5. In this launch 1,425 to 1,470 were placed in orbit.

Last week, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced plans to stream connectivity directly to smartphones using its satellites. That project, a joint effort between SpaceX and T-Mobile called Coverage Above and Beyond, will employ Starlink Version 2 satellites, a more robust and more capable version that is expected to begin rolling out next year.

About 8.5 minutes after liftoff, Falcon 9's first stage re-entered the atmosphere and descended for a precise landing on the Marmac-304 “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ferry, which was parked in the Pacific Ocean. If the previous G4-7 mission demonstrated an increase in second stage performance, this one also had improved performance in the first stage 'core'. The 1063.7 rocket showed an increase in thrust until the main engine cut-off or MECO, at 2292 m/s, about 30 m/s faster than the previous flight.