Featured Image: Starlink 7 lifts off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. (Next Horizons Sapceflight/Stephen Marr)
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – At 9:25 PM EDT, SpaceX lit up the Florida sky for the second time in fours days as they sent the seventh batch of Starlink satellites into orbit. The booster was landed on Just Read the Instructions eight minutes after launch, and Ms Tree and Ms Chief were standing by to catch the payload fairings. Just Read the Instructions was used because Of Course I Still Love You is currently in port, having been used to catch the booster which launched astronauts on May 30.
With this launch the Starlink constellation now contains 480 satellites. The total for the constellation is scheduled to reach 24,000 satellites in the next 5 years. This launch also set a record as they were able to retrieve the booster, the fifth time for this booster. Booster 1049.5 was used to launch Telstar-18V in October 2018, Idirium Next-8 in 2018, and two Starlink launches (0.9 and 2) last year. SpaceX continues to set the standard for booster re-usability in an attempt to prove the Block 5 Falcon 9 booster is capable of launching and landing ten times in a single lifecycle.
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