SpaceX will send a new batch of Starlink satellites this week, and it is poised to set yet another historical record for its rocket.
SpaceX will launch the satellites using its Falcon 9 rocket. What makes this a historic launch is that the rocket has been used for five past launches. If successful, the upcoming launch will make it its sixth trip breaking a previous record by the company.
The Falcon 9 rocket will carry three satellites. Once in orbit, this will put the total number of Starlink satellites into 61. The tech giant was able to send all of these satellites into orbit in just a total of ten launches.
SpaceX has carved its name in the space race by reusing its rockets. Through this strategy, the company can save money and resources exponentially. Now, the company is pushing the boundaries even further by setting yet another rocket record.
In the upcoming launch, the first-stage booster has been reused for a total of five launches. Three of these launches were to send Starlink satellites into orbit. The other two sent the Telstar and Iridium satellites into space.
This will be SpaceX’s 100th mission and the booster being used will hopefully be the first booster to have successfully launched and landed 6 times!!! Congratulations SpaceX! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/4gQmbDRHzT
— Everything SpaceX (@spacex360) August 17, 2020
With the Starlink project getting a lot of attention, the company can stretch the limits of its rockets. Once fully operational, the project will provide high-speed Internet to remote places in the United States. So far, the project is approaching its beta stage as the company continues to build its constellation of satellites.
Another remarkable achievement for SpaceX is how successful its recovery program is. In a past couple of launches, the company has been trying to recover both halves of the rocket fairing. This is used to protect that cargo that goes inside the rocket.
If the company is successful in recovering these fairings, it should reduce its launch cost by up to US$6 million. The first successful recovery of these fairings was in July following a Starlink launch.
The upcoming launch will also include a payload from one of the company’s clients, Planet. This is part of the rideshare agreement that the company signed with its clients.
Through this ridesharing agreement, the company can generate revenue. The revenue from these agreements also helps fund the launch. However, these clients did not reveal the terms of how much each launch will cost them.
SpaceX is set to complete its Starlink constellation of satellites soon. The upcoming launch also happens to be the 100th launch for the company.
Featured image courtesy of SpaceX/Unsplash