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SpaceX pulled-off a predawn launch with Starlink G4-17 mission.

53 satellites placed in orbit by the Falcon9 'core' B1058.12

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

May 6, 2022 SpaceX launched today – Friday, May 6th, the Falcon 9 B1058.12 rocket with fifty-three Starlink satellites into orbit with inclination of 53.2 degrees northeast azimuth with perigee of 325 km and apogee of 337 km. The rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 05:42 EDT (09:42 UTC), just few hours after the SpaceX's NASA Crew-3 landing and recovery, which took place at Gulf of Mexico. This launch is the 44th Starlink mission was named Starlink Group 4-17.

Infographics by S.I and HDE

The first B1058.12 stage of this mission previously launched Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, Transporter-3 and six other Starlink missions. After stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage landed on the ferry A Short Fall of Gravitas , and towed by the ship Doug and stationed in the Atlantic Ocean 634 km from the Cape; The shells of the head fairing fell from parafoil at about 643 km and were 'fished' in the sea by the recover vessel Bob, and second stage re-entry after two ignitions (SECO-1 and 2) occurred in South Australia.

Falcon 9 B1058-12 booster landed on ASOG Droneship in Atlantic Ocean

The mass of a Starlink v1.5 satellite is about 300 kg after adding ISL laser terminals (it's previous versions are 270 kg). Each satellite features a compact flat-panel design that minimizes bulk, allowing a 'dense launch stack' to take full advantage of Falcon 9's payload launching capabilities.

Starlink satellites exposed to space after Fairing Jettison ( photo: spacex webcast)

At the end of their life cycle, the satellites will use their onboard Krypton based propulsion system to de-orbit over the course of a few months. In the unlikely event that your propulsion system becomes dormat, the satellites will decay and burn up in Earth's atmosphere within 1 to 5 years, significantly less than the hundreds or thousands of years required at higher altitudes.

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

  • 00:00:00 Falcon 9 takeoff.

  • 00:01:12 Max Q (moment of maximum mechanical, aerodynamic stress on the rocket).

  • 00:02:31 Cut-off of the 1st stage main engines (MECO).

  • 00:02:35 separate first and second stages (staging).

  • 00:02:41 2nd stage engine ignition (SES-1).

  • 00:02:48 Fairing Jettison.

  • 00:06:14 Start of 1st stage re-entry firing.

  • 00:06:33 1st stage re-entry burn completed.

  • 00:08:04 Start of the 1st stage landing burn.

  • 00:08:26 First stage "Core" landing.

  • 00:08:47 1st Cut-off of the 2nd stage engine (SECO-1).

  • 00:45:28 2nd ignition of the 2nd stage engine (SES-2).

  • 00:45:29 2nd Cut-off of the 2nd stage engine (SECO-2).

  • 00:54:30 Starlink satellites are deployed to Parking Orbit.


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