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Highlights of SpaceX’s spectacular Starlink night launch


SpaceX has just launched another batch of Starlink internet satellites to space.

A Falcon 9 rocket departed Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:02 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.

Everything went according to plan, with the first-stage booster returning safely and the second stage deploying all 49 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit.

As usual, SpaceX livestreamed the launch of the mission, with around 50,000 people hitting the company’s YouTube channel to watch the action.

Below we see the mission getting underway …


— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 19, 2022

Multiple cameras captured the early stages of the rocket’s ascent …

We also see the rocket’s fairing falling away three minutes after launch, exposing the payload of satellites ahead of their deployment. Keep watching for some incredible views of the rocket’s continuing ascent.

And here we get to see the first-stage booster landing on the droneship in the Atlantic Ocean nine minutes after launch, marking the 103rd successful recovery of the Falcon 9 first stage and highlighting again the extraordinary success of SpaceX’s reusable rocket system …

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 19, 2022

Tuesday’s launch was originally scheduled for Monday but poor weather conditions prompted SpaceX to delay it by 24 hours.
This was SpaceX’s 36th dedicated Starlink launch since its first one in 2019. It means the company now has around 2,000 Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit, providing internet services to a growing number of customers.

This was SpaceX’s third orbital launch of 2022 in what’s lining up to be its busiest year to date, with around 40 missions already planned for the next 12 months, beating 2021’s tally of 31 launches.

Tuesday’s launch comes just days after a team of researchers published a report assessing the impact of SpaceX satellites on the work of astronomers. Sunlight reflecting off the satellites has caused concern among those exploring deep space from the ground, with the report noting an increasing number of light streaks on images captured by the team’s telescope over the last two years. SpaceX has added visors to its satellites in a bid to eliminate the glare, though the report suggests the attachment only has a limited effect.

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