SpaceX pulls a hat-trick, launches 3 rockets in 36 hours
SpaceX has pulled off an impressive feat by launching three rockets within a span of just over 36 hours. The company launched 53 Starlink satellites on June 17, a radar satellite for the German military on June 18, and a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a communications satellite for Globalstar on June 19. The June 17 mission set a new rocket-reuse record for the firm.
Why does this story matter?
- SpaceX was once known for its rocket launch failures and is now setting up records for successful takeoffs.
- The June 19 mission was the firm's 26th launch this year, indicating that it has no intention of slowing down.
- This is the company's second triple-launch in 2022 after it undertook three missions between January 31 and February 3.
CEO Elon Musk has congratulated SpaceX for its feat
Congrats to SpaceX Falcon team for executing 3 flawless launches in 2 days! https://t.co/2MFmlkXmVz— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2022
A look at the launch timeline of the three rockets
On June 17, SpaceX lofted 53 Starlink internet satellites from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It also launched a radar satellite on June 18 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. Finally, a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket took off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on June 19 at 12:27am EDT (9:57am IST on Monday).
The Globalstar satellite was deployed 1.5 hours after launch
Ten minutes after lift off, the first stage of the rocket carrying Globalstar's satellite, returned to Earth to land vertically on the SpaceX drone ship, known as 'Just Read The Instructions.' The autonomous ship was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. Meanwhile, the satellite got deployed into orbit around 1.5 hours after the launch.
Falcon 9's first stage has been reused over 12 times
SpaceX has clocked a new rocket-reuse record for the Falcon 9 thanks to its June 17 mission. The first stage of the rocket already had 12 prior launches. The launch on June 19 was the ninth one for this particular Falcon 9 first stage.