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SpaceX rocket soars record-tying mission from Cape Canaveral

The 13th flight of Falcon 9 first stage carried the 50th Starlink launch mission

July 07, 2022 SpaceX Falcon 9 topped with 53 of SpaceX's Starlink internet satellites lifted off at 9:11 a.m. EDT (1311 UTC) on Thursday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. About 8.5 minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9's first stage landed back on the SpaceX droneship Just Read the Instructions, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast, along with the fairing halves retrieved by the recovery vessel Bob.

It was the 13th mission for this Falcon 9's first stage B1058, tying a reuse record the company set just last month on another Starlink launch.

The booster previously flew SpaceX's first-ever crewed flight, the Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station in 2020; a robotic cargo mission to the orbiting lab; two "rideshare" missions that each lofted dozens of satellites; South Korea's ANASIS-II military communications satellite; and seven other Starlink batches.

SpaceX announced its STARLINK MARITIME service; providing High-speed, low-latency internet with up to 350 Mbps download while at sea.

Starlink Maritime allows the user to connect from the most remote waters across the world, from merchant vessels to oil rigs to premium yachts, just like a terrestrial network.

In addition to withstanding extreme cold, heat, hail, sleet, heavy rain, and gale force winds, Starlink is rugged enough to withstand rocket landings.

Here’s a comparison live video captured on a SpaceX droneship at sea with and without Starlink.

As the maritime industry moves toward an autonomous future, affordable, low latency bandwidth to deliver terabytes of data back to shore command centers is paramount. SpaceX lands the first stage of its rocket on remotely operated, dynamically positioned vessels called “Droneships” stationed in the ocean downrange from the launch site. These vessels are self-propelled, unmanned systems monitored by a remote operator in the Launch and Landing Control Center. From this remote console, the operator has total visibility, control and maritime domain awareness over the unmanned vessel, as well as communication links to personnel in multipurpose support vessels nearby.

Before Starlink Maritime, the 1-2 second latency of VSAT would cause lag and delayed feedback from gigabytes of telemetry, closed-circuit television (CCTV), and navigation data streaming from the Droneship. With a latency of 50ms, Starlink enables even greater awareness on systems offshore, empowering operators to make the most informed decisions.

In addition to latency challenges, with VSAT, the lack of bandwidth coupled with the intense vibrations from the rocket engines often led to total dropouts in video and data. With Starlink, the throughput boost combined with exceptional connection stability enables continuous live video during rocket landings and improved the video quality.


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