SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off Carrying 49 Starlink Satellites on January 6

After setting the record for launches at the end of 2021 SpaceX began 2022 by launching launch of the Falcon 9 launch of a series of Starlink satellites on Jan 6th.

Falcon 9 Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 4:49 p.m. Eastern on a mission dubbed Starlink 4-5 by SpaceX. The payload comprised comprising 49 Starlink satellites separated from the upper stage fifteen and a half minutes following the launch, but due to an absence of coverage of the ground station the confirmation of separation didn’t occur for another hour.

The first stage of the rocket came to rest on a droneship located within the Atlantic Ocean near The Bahamas about nine minutes after the liftoff. The booster was in its fourth flight. It had previously served on the two GPS 3 satellite launches and the Inspiration4 commercial Crew Dragon mission.

The launch was carried out on a unique southern trajectory, instead of the typical northeastern trajectories that was used in previous Starlink launches launched from Florida. The Space Force official said it was the first of many launches planned for January, which will be on southern, or polar tracks.

“The 2022 launch season will be incredibly full with as many as five polar and seven launches in total expected for January,” Major. Jonathan Szul, director of operations for the First Range Operations Squadron at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station announced in a January. 4 announcement. “While the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station has had three missions with polar components were successfully launched in the last year and a quarter, Cape Canaveral has never had five Southern trajectory launches in the course of a single month.”

He did not mention the expected polar launches in January, beyond Starlink 4 and 5. One of these is Transporter-3 which is the rideshare dedicated Falcon 9 launch currently scheduled for January. 13. Another possibility is to be the Falcon 9 launch of a Cosmo-Skymed Second Generation radar imaging satellite to ASI, the Italian ASI, the space organization ASI scheduled for the latter part of January. Other launches with polar orbits could include Starlink missions.

Launches that are more frequently used on southern trajectories is an issue regarding Space Launch Delta 45, the Space Force unit that operates the Eastern Range, because of various maritime and airspace restrictions that boaters and pilots aren’t used to. “Due to the distinctive southerly trajectories there could be more of a potential impact on air and sea traffic on Southeast coasts from Florida,” Szul said.

This is the first SpaceX launch in 2022it’s also it’s the very first orbital rocket launch in the world in the year to comefollows SpaceX established a record record in 2021 by launching 31 orbital launches. All of them were made using Falcon 9 rockets.

SpaceX hasn’t yet set a 2022 goal however, in an interview in Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week Dec. 13 Tom Ochinero, vice president of commercial sales at SpaceX and SpaceX’s vice president of commercial sales, stated that the company’s plan for 2022 consisted of at least three crewed missions , and five rocket launches from SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, which last was launched in 2019. “Next year’s calendar will be even more thrilling,” he said of 2022.

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