SpaceX sent a space tug into Earth orbit

This morning, SpaceX launched a space tug with a new set of Starlink Internet satellites.

BingMag.com SpaceX sent a space tug into Earth orbit

This morning, SpaceX launched a space tug with a new set of Starlink Internet satellites.

At 10:09 p.m. EST (06:49 Tehran time), a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was launched from the Cape Canaveral space base on the east coast of Florida to send 51 Starlink 20-4 satellites into orbit. Spaceflight's Sherpa-LTC2 space tug was also put into orbit during this trip.

This tug will carry cargo for the Varuna-TDM Technology Demonstration Mission. Under this Boeing-owned commercial mission, V-band communications will be tested for a satellite constellation of 147 satellites in non-Earth-stationary orbit. SpaceX was supposed to be sent into orbit in January 2022, but it was not done due to a fuel leak. Now, after several months and with the problem solved, today's launch is considered a turning point in the development of the Varna constellation.

Minutes after today's launch, the booster of the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket returned to the ground and boarded the unmanned ship. "Just Read the Instructions" landed in the Atlantic Ocean. This flight is the seventh use of this booster with the number B1052-7.

According to SpaceX, the Sherpa-LTC2 space tug was injected into the intended orbit about 49 minutes after launch. And the Starlink set went into orbit 23 minutes after that.

SpaceX has already sent more than 3,000 Starlink satellites into orbit in order to create a huge array to provide broadband Internet services, especially in remote areas. slow The company has flown more than 25 Starlink missions in 2022.

Today's mission also marked SpaceX's 40th launch of 2022, further increasing the number of satellites in the Starlink satellite constellation.

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SpaceX currently has permission to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites and has asked an international communications regulator to approve the launch of another 30,000 satellites.

Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX in In late August, in collaboration with T-Mobile, it announced its plan to provide direct connection of the Starlink network to smartphones. The company also recently signed a contract to provide internet to Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

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Cover photo: Falcon 9 rocket launch
Credit: Michael Baylor, NASA Space Flight

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