SpaceX Launches Two Starlink Missions with Just Over 24 Hours Between Them

Last week, SpaceX launched two Starlink missions from Florida just over 24 hours apart, sending a total of 46 satellites to orbit. The missions took place from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center and Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, respectively. Both missions were part of the Group 6 Starlink shell (Group 51 and 52) and were inserted into an orbit with a 43-degree orbital inclination.

The first launch, which took place from LC-39A, was carried out by Falcon 9 Booster 1077, which completed its 12th flight to space and back. B1077 last flew 38 days prior to this mission and has now safely launched 4 Humans, 2 ISS resupply missions, a GPS satellite, 2 telecommunications satellites, and 6 Starlink batches. The second launch, which was the 40th of the year for SpaceX, took place from SLC-40 and featured Booster 1080 which completed its 7th flight.

B1080 had a relatively quick turnaround, last flying 28 days prior. B1080 made a smooth landing on the droneship ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ and has also returned to Port Canaveral for eventual refurbishment and its next mission. This mission had a bit of a special guest: two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors were in town for a local airshow and were flying over Cape Canaveral Space Force Station right at lift-off.

As the Falcon 9 climbed, the F-22 Raptors hit their afterburners and climbed with the Falcon 9 for a short period before the rocket easily won the “race.” The F-22 Demonstration team released an awesome video, which you can watch below. View this post on Instagram

SpaceX is already gearing up for its 41st mission of the year. Another Starlink batch is scheduled to launch from SLC-40 on Tuesday evening no earlier than 6:15 pm ET and has the usual multi-hour window to account for weather or technical delays.

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