Elon Musk’s space venture SpaceX has successfully launched 47 Starlink satellites.
The Starlink 4-9 mission lifted off at 9.25 a.m. EST (6.25 a.m. PST) on March 3 from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and was SpaceX’s ninth of a planned 52 launches this year, TechCrunch reported.
The mission, flown by Falcon 9 booster “B1060”, has completed 11 flights since its debut in June 2020.
The 47 Starlink satellites have now joined 2,000-plus others in the programme’s first-generation constellation orbiting Earth, providing high-speed, low-latency Internet across the globe, even in remote regions.
Starlink is currently approved to expand its constellation to 12,000 satellites, though SpaceX has applied to launch a further 30,000, the report said.
Thursday’s launch was the sixth Starlink mission of the year already for SpaceX. All of the launches were successful.
But during the third mission, conducted on February 3, of the 49 Starlink satellites 38 failed to reach their intended orbit due to a geomagnetic storm, burning up as they re-entered Earth’s atmosphere.
SpaceX’s next Starlink launch is scheduled for March 8 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS) Launch Complex 40, the report said.