With this launch added to SpaceX's belt, the company has completely demonstrated that the March 2020 in-flight motor disappointment endured during the debut fifth launch of a Falcon 9 was an accident. The aim is to provide tens of thousands of low Earth orbit satellites to provide high-speed Internet nearly anywhere in the world.
Days after sending two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station, SpaceX returned to the skies for its eighth Starlink mission.
Space travelers Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley got off of Kennedy Space Center on May 30 inside the Crew Dragon box on Falcon 9. SpaceX has some 18 more launches nominally planned over the next 7 months, a number that doesn't even include 14-18 additional Starlink launches targeted in 2020. Musk's overall plan is for 12,000 of these particular satellites, and 1600 in the company's first phase. The liftoff occurred at the scheduled time from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here in Florida. If successful, SpaceX will begin considering its operational implementation on future satellites. Scientists have complained that Starlink is bright enough to interfere with sensitive optical instrumentation used to gather data from deep space bodies and phenomena. SpaceX has now put 480 satellites up there; the satellites can be spotted from Earth if you know what you're looking for.
Sooty or not the whole process worked and 60 more of Elon Musk's Starlink mini-satellites are now being placed into orbit and takes the total to nearly 500 craft.
Should today's launch be delayed (weather is now looking around 60% favorable for the mission), there's a backup opportunity tomorrow, June 4 at 9:03 PM EDT (6:03 PM PDT). Minutes after launch, the rocket's first stage landed on a drone ship called "Just Read the Instructions" in the Atlantic Ocean, marking the first time a SpaceX booster successfully completed five cycles of launches and landings.
Further, one of the 60 satellites have been fitted with an experimental "visor-system" tasked with blocking sun rays from reflecting off communication antenna surfaces, reducing sunlight being reflected off satellites, back to Earth.