SpaceX: On Wednesday afternoon, SpaceX reached a new world record by launching its Falcon 9 rocket for the hundredth time, at 4 pm (Brasília time), to deliver a batch of 60 Starlink satellites in low orbit. da Terra, bringing the constellation for internet supply to 1,737 devices.
Under the blue sky of Florida, in the USA, Falcon 9 powered its powerful Merlin engines, capable of a thrust of more than 1.7 million pounds, taking off for the centennial flight directly from Space Force Station, in Cape Canaveral. The record of 100 perfect flights is counted from June 2015, when a failure in the second stage of the rocket caused total loss of the Dragon capsule.
As of that date, there were 99 flawless Falcon 9 launches, some of them followed by landing. It is true that SpaceX missed another mission, but the accident did not occur during launch: in September 2016, the Israeli satellite Amos-6 exploded when it was being prepared on the platform. After the accident, the company launched 90 rockets safely.
After learning to crawl, walk and run, the Falcon 9 is now sprinting. Today:
• 100th consecutive, successful launch of a Falcon 9
• 16th launch of 2021, a cadence of one rocket every nine days
• 6th launch during the last 33 days, once every five days pic.twitter.com/kmuBJwA82i
— Eric Berger (@SciGuySpace) May 26, 2021
Next Falcon 9 releases
Yesterday’s flight also marks the 28th Starlink mission, as part of the plan to create a mega-constellation of internet transmission satellites. Once again, the mission ended with a safe landing on the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” in the Atlantic Ocean.
With the new satellites taken on the 100th flight of the Falcon 9, the 1,600 of Starlink’s original plans have already been exceeded. SpaceX recently received authorization from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase the constellation to 2,800 satellites.
Of the 16 missions completed by SpaceX this year, 13 were to carry Starlink satellites. But it is likely that the vast majority of the next launches will be for serving external customers: the 22nd cargo refueling mission for NASA, a GPS III satellite for the US Space Force and a Sirius XM satellite.