For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – In a stunning space achievement SpaceX launched and landed a recycled Falcon 9 first stage for a record-breaking 13th time for the first time ever at noontime Friday, June 17 from the Kennedy Space Center – on the occasion of another Starlink internet satellite launch.
While crowning and establishing a new Fleet Leading booster with first stage B1060, SpaceX also triumphed by marking their 100th successful launch of a reused booster.
The booster also nailed another droneship landing.
Launch of the 229-foot tall (70 meter) two stage Falcon 9 took place Friday, June 17 at 12:09 p.m. EST (1609 GMT) from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying a payload of 53 Starlink broad band high speed internet satellites to low Earth orbit on the Starlink 4-19 mission – during an instantaneous launch window.
The Falcon 9 flew aloft into most blue skies with scattered clouds – darting in and out while ascending for a fantastic Friday on the 13th mission show!
The rocket headed on a northeast trajectory from Kennedy and heading out over the Atlantic Ocean following the flawless liftoff with stage separation and fairing jettison occurring on schedule.
The 53 packed satellites were deployed from the Falcon 9s upper stage as planned about 15 minutes after liftoff.
The flat paneled solar powered Starlink relay satellites were all deployed from the upper stage as planned about 15 minutes after launch into an oval shaped elliptical transfer orbit of approximately 144 miles by 209 miles in altitude (232-by-337 kilometers), at an orbital inclination of 53.2 degrees to the equator.
Deployment of 53 Starlink satellites confirmed
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 17, 2022
The Starlink 4-19 mission launch also heralds a weekend of 3 planned Falcon 9 launches in less than three days – with the other two on Saturday, June 18 from Vandenberg, SFB, California on the other US coast and finally on Sunday just past midnight from nearby pad 40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Eight and a half minutes later following stage separation at 2 minutes 30 seconds the ‘flight-proven’ Falcon 9 B1060.13 nailed the precision guided touchdown on the ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas (ASOG) drone ship prepositioned some 400 miles (640 km) downrange off the coast of Charleston and the Carolina’s in the Atlantic Ocean.
SpaceX broadcast stunning video of the landing – in higher resolution enabled by Starlink said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
“Our best landing video to date, thanks to Starlink!” tweeted SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
Our best landing video to date, thanks to Starlink! https://t.co/kAjA3mxBta
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 17, 2022
The Starlink 4-19 blastoff of 1st stage B1060 counts as its 13th flight to space & back – exceeding two others for the distinction of fleet leader.
Overall this marked the 48th SpaceX mission dedicated to Starlink launches and the 24th Falcon 9 and SpaceX launch this year – as well as being the 158th Falcon 9 launch since its debut on June 4, 2010.
This Falcon 9 first stage booster B1060 previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and now 10 Starlink missions.
Thus this phrenetic launch pace keeps SpaceX on track to achieve the record breaking goal of 50 to 60 launches this year of 2022 – the stated goal announced by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
This approximate one (or more) per week launch rate would about double the already record breaking achievement of 31 Falcon 9 launches set last year in 2021
Enjoy our photos of the Starlink 4-19 mission taken by the Space UpClose team of Ken Kremer and Jean Wright.
SpaceX has now launched over 2706 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit including prototypes and test satellites no longer in use.
Watch Ken’s commentary about NASA SLS WDR demo test, SpaceX missions including Nilesat 301, Transporter-5, Boeing Starliner, NASA Crew-3, Crew 4 and SpaceX AX-1 missions and Starlink and NASA TROPICS 1.
Jun 17: Fox 35 Orlando featured my commentary about the selection of 2 NASA astronauts to fly on the 1st crewed mission of Boeing Starliner capsule on CFT test flight late 2022 – and what it means for human spaceflight to have a 2nd US commercial crew provider following the successful Boeing Starliner OFT-2 mission for NASA
Jun 9/10: WFTV ABC Orlando features my commentary about the upcoming NASA TROPICS 1 & 2 cubesat science launch on an Astra Rocket 3.3 from pad 46 for NASA which will study the formation and evolution of Tropical Cyclones and Hurricanes. Two more launches will follow for 6 TROPICS cubesats altogether over next few months
Jun 8: WFTV ABC Orlando features my commentary about the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch of NileSat301 telecom sat for Egypt
June 6/7: WFTV ABC Orlando features my commentary about completing 2nd rollout to pad 39B for 2nd round WDR tanking test, what’s involved in and why its critical to the future of Project Artemis:
May 25/26: WFTV ABC Orlando featured my commentary about the successful ISS undocking and touchdown of Starliner on OFT-2 test flight
May 19/20: WFTV ABC Orlando and Fox 35 Orlando featured my prelaunch and post launch commentary about the critical nature of the Boeing Starliner OFT-2 mission for NASA
May 11: WFTV ABC Orlando News featured my commentary & analysis about Boeing Starliner crew capsule targeting launch May 19 for long delayed OFT2 uncrewed test flight for NASA after completing FRR this afternoon. It must dock at ISS to be considered successful to enable follow-on NASA astronaut flights maybe by late 2022
Apr 29: WKMG CBS 6 with my commentary about the record setting Falcon 9 turnaround of 21 days since the Axiom-1 launch
Apr 22: Fox 35 Orlando features my analysis of the busy week ahead in space with weather delayed Earth return of AX-1 crew this weekend, launch of 4 NASA/ESA Crew-4 astronauts on SpaceX Crew Dragon NET Apr 26 & rollback of NASA SLS to VAB for repairs
Apr 20: WFTV ABC News Orlando features my commentary about the SpaceX static fire and impact of weather induced delays to departure of Ax-1 and launch of Crew-4.
Apr 15/16 & Apr 12/13: WFTV ABC News Orlando and WKMG CBS 6 Orlando featured my comments about NASA SLS WDR wet dress rehearsal countdown and fueling demo test and human launches to ISS:
Apr 6: WFTV ABC 9 Orlando featured my comments about 1st fully private astronaut launch to ISS by SpaceX on AX-1 mission:https://www.wftv.com/news/local/brevard-county/first-all-private-astronaut-mission-iss-set-liftoff-kennedy-space-center-this-week/FYE5QAT735BA7G42O6IVCJGB4Q/
Apr 4 & 5: WFTV ABC News Orlando and Fox 35 Orlando featured my comments about NASA SLS WDR wet dress rehearsal countdown and fueling demo test and human launches to ISS
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, SpaceX Crew and Cargo Dragons, SpaceX Axiom-1, JWST, IXPE, DART, Lucy Asteroid mission, GOES, SpaceX Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3 & 4, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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