On Thursday evening, SpaceX launched a large number of its Starlink broadband satellites and successfully landed a rocket at sea (Oct. 27).
At 9:14 p.m. EDT on Thursday, a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 53 Starlink satellites was launched from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base (6:14 p.m. local California time; 0114 GMT on Oct. 28).
Less than nine minutes after liftoff, the first stage of the Falcon 9 returned to Earth and made a precision landing on the SpaceX drone ship, Of Course, I Still Love You in the Pacific Ocean.
According to the mission description provided by SpaceX, this was the eighth time this particular booster had lifted off and landed (opens in new tab). This rocket has been used for the launch of six previous Starlink missions, including the Earth-observing Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite in November 2020, NASA’s DART asteroid-smashing probe in November 2021, and five others.
At the same time, the upper stage of the Falcon 9 kept on its course to low Earth orbit, where the 53 Starlinks were eventually released.
More than 3,500 satellites(opens in new tab) for SpaceX’s Starlink internet mega constellation have been launched(opens in new tab), and the company is already serving customers around the world.
Lots of those spaceships have already launched this year. So far in 2022, SpaceX has launched 49 times into orbit, with nearly two-thirds of those trips carrying large Starlink payloads into orbit.
Note from the editors: We’ve adjusted the time of this story to reflect the updated launch time for SpaceX’s Starlink satellite. The launch, rocket landing, and satellite deployment news were added at 9:49 p.m. EDT on October 27.
Out There(opens in new tab) was written by Mike Wall (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate),
Falcon 9 Rocket Blasts Off From SpaceX’s California Facility
Falcon 9 rocket was launched by SpaceX from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.
As far as 100 miles away, people in Malibu, Cambria, Mount Pinos, Newbury Park, Nevada, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico could see the bright orange rocket flames.
At 6:14:10 p.m., the rocket blasted off from its launch pad. Live coverage of the launch event in Southern California was broadcast on KTLA 5.
For this task, 53 Starlink satellites needed to be launched into space. Already, eight successful launches and landings have been achieved with this particular Falcon 9 rocket. With more than 3,500 satellites, SpaceX’s Starlink internet constellation can cover the entire planet with high-speed connectivity.
After a vertical takeoff, the Falcon began a slow turn toward the southeast, flying parallel to the coast as it ascended into orbit. The rocket’s reusable booster fell away from the vehicle and safely returned to Earth, where it touched down on the deck of the spaceport drone ship named “Of Course I Still Love You.”
The people living along the coasts of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties heard a low rumble.
SpaceX claims their Falcon 9 rocket is the “first orbital class reusable rocket in the world.” The reusable craft is made to take people and cargo into Earth orbit and beyond without risk.
181 launches, 141 landings, and 119 re-flights are all that the Falcon 9 rockets have accomplished so far.
Michael Wall has been with Space.com(opens in new tab) since 2010 and is currently a Senior Space Writer. There have been occasions when he has covered space art in addition to his usual beats of exoplanets, space travel, and the military space program.
The 13th of November saw the release of his book, “Out There,” which is about the search for extraterrestrial life. Michael has a background as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist, but he is now a science writer.
In addition to his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he also holds a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia.
FAQs – People Also Ask
Where did SpaceX launch today?
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Thursday night.
Did the rocket launch from Vandenberg today?
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket took off from Vandenburg Air Force Base at around 6 o’clock, carrying 53 Starlink broadband satellites into orbit.
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