May 14 at 1:03 am E.T. from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
Some mothers got cards or flowers this Mother’s day, but the moms on Florida’s space coast got an early morning rocket launch to kick of their day of celebration. SpaceX sent another batch of fifty-six Starlink satellites to orbit. With lift off at 1:03 am E.T. the surrounding area rumbled as a dark moonless night soon became lit up like the day for a few brief moments until the Falcon 9 rocket pitched downrange and was high in altitude.
Starlink 5-9 marks the 81st operational Starlink launch, now boosting the total number of satellites launched to 4447. Of that number only 4135 are still in orbit around the Earth. Decommissioned Starlinks are brought back into Earth’s atmosphere where they burn up and are unable to cause any harm to our planet and reduce the amount of “space junk” floating around taking up space.
Currently available only in certain regions, SpaceX will soon have global coverage with their Starlink constellation. Version 1 of these satellites will be completed after the first five shells are filled and once the first and second versions are complete they company is expected to make 30-50 billion dollars annually. A profit that will mostly finance the company’s Starship program along with their Mars Base Alpha.