On Wednesday afternoon (April 7), the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully deployed a new group of sixty Starlink internet satellites into the orbit, followed by a safe landing at sea. At exactly 12:34 p.m. EDT, the veteran Falcon 9 rocket launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station situated in Florida, indicating the company’s tenth deployment of the year. During a live stream of the mission, Jessie Anderson, a SpaceX production engineer, stated, “Falcon 9 has safely lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, bringing our stack of the Starlink satellites to the orbit.” The rocket’s very first stage came back to Earth 9 minutes later, docking on the SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Always Love You” for its seventh efficient landing
SpaceX is keeping up its steady launch speed from last year, as Hawthorne, which is a California-based rocket company, recently celebrated its tenth launch of 2021. The bulk of those deployments have been for a while now SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, while the corporation nears completion of its 1,440-satellite initial internet constellation. Though SpaceX has the authorization to deploy as many as 30,000 satellites, with the ability to launch, even more, the constellation could eventually number in the tens of thousands.
The weather forecasters at 45th Space Wing’s Weather Squadron expected good weather for launch, and they were correct. When the Falcon 9 rocket soared to orbit today, the space coast was blanketed with blue sky. B1058, the booster used in today’s launch, is part of the SpaceX’s fleet of the flight-proven boosters. The seasoned pilot has already completed seven launches as well as landings and is rapidly growing through the ranks of the fleet’s commanders. B1058 was the first spacecraft to feature NASA’s signature worm logo, which it debuted about a year earlier. Current NASA president Jim Bridenstine posted on Twitter at the moment, “The worm is back.”
The classic red worm logo was developed in the 1970s and was utilized for a brief period until the space agency switched to the other iconic image, the NASA meatball. Although the meatball remains the primary emblem, NASA has chosen to include the worm for crewed flights. As a product of its many journeys through space and back, the once light red script has darkened and become sooty.
As a component of NASA’s commercial crew initiative, B1058 was the very first commercial rocket to carry space explorers to the International Space Station. The Crew Dragon Demo-2 experiment, which launched on May 30, 2020, from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, was the first time astronauts had launched from American soil since the shuttle program’s completion the year 2011.