Sep, 2022 - By SMI
This was the 27th Starlink deployment of 2022, the 41st SpaceX launch of the year, and the 51st SpaceX launch during the previous 12 months.
There was a 60% likelihood of good weather on Saturday night according to the mission's weather report. The Surface Electric Fields, Cumulus Cloud, and Anvil Cloud rules were among the weather factors being monitored. The launch was delayed by the weather for a brief period of 10 minutes. There was a tiny chance the mission would have been postponed until Sunday night.
On this mission, booster B1058 completed its 14th flight, setting a new SpaceX record for reuse. A CRS mission, a communications satellite to GTO, two Transporter flights, and eight Starlink missions would all be launched using this launcher after it made its debut in May 2020 with the NASA crewed mission. The Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS), a insufficiency of Gravitas, where B1058 landed after finishing stage one of flight, provided nautical assistance for the Starlink 4-2 voyage. Support ship Bob and a Shortfall of Gravitas were dispatched to tug the drone ship into place and recover the fairing pieces.
Additionally, the Falcon 9 second stage fired a record amount of times during this mission. The second stage got ignited five times over the course of more than two hours: twice to place the BlueWalker 3 spacecraft in a circular orbit at about 513 km in altitude and 53.2 degrees inclination, twice more to deliver the Starlink satellites into a circular 330 km orbit, and once more to deorbit the stage from low Earth orbit (LEO). The Starlink satellites were launched slightly over two hours after launch, while BlueWalker 3 was deployed around 50 minutes into the mission. It marks SpaceX's eighth straight Starlink trip in August and September as they wait for the delivery of more client payloads.
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