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SpaceX launches 53 more Starlink satellites from Vandenberg, gearing up another two in Florida

Falcon 9 Block 5 B1063.5 takes off from the SLC-4E (SpaceX)

May 14, 2022 SpaceX on Friday, May 13, launches Falcon 9 Block 5 number B1063.5 with 53 more Starlink satellites into Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. The rocket lifted off on the instant launch window at 15:07 PT, 22:07 UTC.

Falcon 9 Block 5 B1063.5 booster landed in OCISLY drone ship (SpaceX)

The first stage 'core' to be used in this mission previously launched Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, DART, and two other Starlink missions. After stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage returned to Earth and landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship (towed by Debra C) parked in the Pacific Ocean. The head fairing shells were retrieved from the ocean by the GO Quest support ship.

On the following day 'Saturday' May 14; SpaceX will be targeting another Falcon 9 launch of 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous launch window is scheduled at 4:40 p.m. EDT, or 20:40 UTC, and a backup opportunity is available on Sunday, May 15 at 4:12 p.m. EDT, or 20:12 UTC. The new first stage 'core' number B1073 will debut on this Starlink G4-15 mission.

Following stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage will return to Earth and land on the Just Read the Instructions (JRTI) drone ship, parked 629 km on the Atlantic trajectory 'footprint'. The ferry was towed by the tug Finn Falgout and is accessed by the support vessel Bob, which will retrieve the shells from the head fairing 648 km off the Cape, approximately 8.5 minutes after Lift-off.



  • 00:00:00 Falcon 9 liftoff

  • 00:01:12 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)

  • 00:02:34 1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)

  • 00:02:37 1st and 2nd stages separate

  • 00:02:44 2nd stage engine starts (SES-1)

  • 00:02:50 Fairing deployment

  • 00:06:23 1st stage entry burn begins

  • 00:06:37 1st stage entry burn complete

  • 00:07:59 1st stage landing burn begins

  • 00:08:24 1st stage landing

  • 00:08:50 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)

  • 00:45:29 2nd stage engine starts (SES-2)

  • 00:45:31 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-2)

  • 00:54:32 Starlink satellites deploy

The Company is also attempting a third launch within a week, "Starlink G4-18" mission with another batch of satellites using the Falcon 9 Block 5 number B1052.5, from Kennedy Space Center (LC-39A) on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, with support fleets; "ASOG" A Short Fall of Gravitas drone ship assigned as landing platform in the Atlantic Ocean towed by "Doug" which will also fish out the fairing halves from water.

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