Rocket Booster B1063.7 took off from Vandenberg with 46 satellites
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.
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.
LAUNCH, LANDING AND RELEASE OF PAYLOAD
All times are approximate hh: min: ss
00:01:12 Max Q (moment of maximum mechanical stress on the rocket)
00:02:28 Cut-off of the 1st stage main engines (MECO)
00:02:32 separate first and second stages (staging)
00:02:38 Ignition of the 2nd stage engines
00:02:45 Fairing release
00:06:11 Start of 1st stage input ignition
00:06:31 1st stage re-entry ignition completed
00:08:01 Start of 1st stage landing ignition
00:08:23 1st stage landing
00:08:44 2nd stage motor cutout (SECO-1)
00:53:53 2nd stage engine ignition (SES-2)
00:53:55 2nd stage engine cutout (SECO-2)
01:02:56 Starlink satellites deployed
The current launch rate is one mission every 6.2 days. Thus, SpaceX can carry out 59 launches before the end of the year.
7th flight of the 'core' stage B1063
Vandenberg's 28th release
39th release in 2022
58th Starlink mission