SpaceX resumes fire for Starlink after long hiatus

After several weeks of hiatus without any rocket flight for the benefit of Starlink, SpaceX is getting back to work: a new takeoff for the benefit of its constellation of satellites is scheduled for November 13.

It was a break that turned out to be very long, by SpaceX standards. Indeed, the American company specializing in aerospace activities had become accustomed to very regularly launching rockets for the benefit of Starlink, its satellite Internet access service. Dozens of satellites were thus regularly put into orbit. There were even, some months, several take-offs.

A long hiatus for SpaceX

Except that since September 14, 2021, the date on which the last shipment of 51 Starlink satellites occurred, SpaceX had not carried out any firing. An interruption of almost two months, abnormal for a group which carried out take-offs almost every month, and sometimes even a few days apart. This parenthesis is coming to an end, as a new flight is announced for November 13.

The mission was supposed to take place the day before, but the weather conditions did not turn out to be good. The shot has been moved to Saturday, at 1:19 p.m. (Paris time).

It is not clear why SpaceX let so much time pass between the two shots, but factors can be put forward: COO Gwynne Shotwell had warned that the company’s business would be affected by a shortage of liquid oxygen. Difficulties in supplying processors can also play a role – this is a problem for Russia.

SourceĀ : Starlink

However, SpaceX had other fish to fry during this period: it had to ensure the departure of the Crew-3 mission, manage the return of the members of Crew-2 to Earth, as well as supervise the space stay of it. Inspiration4 initiative. The company is also continuing to develop the next generation of its space launcher, the Starship. A recent test has thus taken place at the engine level.

The Starlink mission on November 13 will depart from the Cape Canaveral, Florida launch pad. 53 Starlink satellites will be released into low Earth orbit at the end of the Falcon 9 rocket’s ascent. The first stage will then automatically return to Earth, landing on an ocean barge. The first stage has already been used for old missions, as have the two parts of the fairing protecting the payload.

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Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.

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