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SpaceX launched Boeing's test spacecraft and 51 more Starlink satellites

Falcon 9 rocket launched 51 internet satellites and a Boeing's Varuna TDM

Starlink G4-20 launch (Credit: SpaceX)

September 4, 2022 The SpaceX Falcon9 v1.2 FT Block 5 rocket number B1052.7 with fifty-one Starlink V1.5 satellites and a Spaceflight Inc's Sherpa-LTC orbital transfer vehicle launched from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instant launch window is at 22:09 ET (02:09:40 UTC on Sept. September 5th). The payloads were deployed in 236 × 329 km, inclined at 53.2 degrees.

Falcon 9 B1052-7 Landing on JRTI (Credit: SpaceX)

The 'core' of the first stage of this mission previously launched Arabsat-6A, STP-2, COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2, the South Korean lunar probe KPLO and two Starlink missions. After separating the stages, the core will land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, which will be parked in the Atlantic Ocean, towed by the fairing recovery support vessel 'Doug'.


Elon Musk's internet satellites (totaling 15,657 kg, specimens 1425 to 1475) are part of the 'Group 4-20', to join the specimens already established in their working orbits. The satellites will be released in a single block into the initial target orbit of approximately 230 km inclined at 53.2°, to then separate and proceed to their final orbits of 540 km.


Boeing's Varuna Technology Demonstration Mission (Varuna-TDM, from 180kg total mass to 140kg without propellant) will test V-band communications equipment for a proposed constellation of 147 non-geostationary broadband satellites. The satellite will be ejected from Spaceflight's Sherpa-LTC2-type space tug (