SpaceX’s Falcon 9 has successfully conducted the 8th lift-off in its lifetime. The latest flight carried 60 Starlink satellites to orbit, making the total count 1205. The satellites have been successfully released from the rocket, and very soon, they will be orbiting in the Earth. Once the company reaches 1500 satellites, they can go for global coverage. That means SpaceX is just 5 launches away from worldwide service. However, we can expect there to be blind zones that will fillup as the company keeps saturating the Earth’s orbit with Starlink satellites.
The 8th lift-off for the Falcon 9
The lift-off happened on 4th March at 3:32 AM EST from Florida’s Launch complex-39A. Almost after 9 minutes after the launch, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 also managed to land back on the “Of Course I still love you” drone ship. If the Falcon 9 manages to lift-off again, it will be the highest time that any Falcon 9 will be reused. Out of the 7 other launches that the rocket was used in, five were the Starlink launches, one was the Iridium-8 mission, and one was Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission. SpaceX officials that this was the 75th time they have successfully recovered a booster. And this has helped them significantly reduce their costs as most rockets on landing back are in perfectly reusable conditions and just need a few changes.
This successful lift-off and landing also gives SpaceX much needed confidence as their previous Falcon 9 rocket crashed. And just a while back the SN10 starship also exploded even after landing properly after the test-flight.
SpaceX’s operational goals with Starlink
Presently the company has about 10,000 active users in the US and other countries. And Elon said that very soon, all of Earth will have Starlink service. The initial goals are for this year, but if that doesn’t happen, global coverage is bound to happen by the end of next year. And once the company achieves that, it will all be about improving the coverage. This will be done by launch more satellites, increasing network density so more bandwidth can be allocated to everyone. Talking about the recently launched satellites, they will slowly deploy their solar arrays and gain their operational altitude using their thrushters.
SpaceX has already started giving pre-booking options in many countries one of which is India. And as their covergae increases these countries will be able to enjoy their satellite internet connection. The prebooking cost is $99 or Rs 7,300 and you can expect speeds and latency between 50-150 Mbps and 20-40 ms. Elon also promised that they plan on doubling the speeds and reducing the latency. But will that be at the same price or a higher package is not mentioned.
Do you think that this particular Falcon 9 could complete 10 successful launches? And are you excited about the fast Starlink satellite internet in India? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you found our content informative, do like it and share it with your friends.