Like clockwork: SpaceX launches third Falcon 9 rocket this week
SpaceX launched its third Falcon 9 rocket this week, this time to send dozens more Starlink satellites into orbit for the company’s internet constellation.
Lifting off at 1:13 p.m. EST (18:13 UTC) Feb. 3, 2022, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, this flight sent 49 Starlink spacecraft into orbit.
The mission, called Starlink Group 4-7, completes the sixth of 30 launches needed to fill the constellation’s fourth shell.
Overall, this was the 35th operational Starlink mission for SpaceX, increasing the number of orbiting satellites for the company’s internet constellation to 2091, of which some 1923 remain in orbit after today’s launch.
The first stage of the Falcon 9, core B1061, performed its sixth flight after a 54-day turnaround. After doing its part during the first 2.5 minutes of the ascent, it separated and landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” located approximately 400 miles (640 kilometers) downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.
Additionally, the two fairing halves that encapsulated the 49 Starlink satellites are expected to be recovered by SpaceX’s support ship Doug.
This was the third of three SpaceX launches within about 67 hours between the company’s three launch pads — two in Florida and one in California.
Video courtesy of SpaceX
Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.