Falcon 9 Block 5 | Starlink 3

SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 Block 5 Rocket

SpaceX was scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket as part of the Starlink 3 mission. The launch window for the Communications mission was on Wed, Jan 29th, 2020, 9:06 AM EST from Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, FL. The status of the launch was Success with a 80% chance for favorable weather conditions. Don’t miss this exciting rocket launch! Watch the launch video of the Falcon 9 Block 5 and experience the excitement for yourself. B1051 will attempt to land on an ASDS OCISLY after the Starlink 3 launch.

Mission

Starlink 3

Second operational Starlink payload of 2020 and third overall. The Falcon 9 launch vehicle will carry a batch of 60 Starlink satellites that will be insterted in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 290 km (180 mi) and an inclination of 53°. They will then split into three orbital planes and raise their orbits to reach an operational altitude of 550 km (342 mi). The Starlink LEO constellation aims to provide worldwide affordable satellite internet access. 182 satellites (120 operational) have been deployed so far, the goal scheduled for the mid-2020s being 12,000 satellites in orbit, with a possible later extension to 42,000. The booster for this launch will be B1051, a Block 5 generation core which previously flew on SpaceX's Demonstration Mission 1 (first Crew Dragon test flight) and launched the Canadian Space Agency's RADARSAT Constellation.

Location

Space Launch Complex 40, Cape Canaveral, FL

Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
SpaceX

Rocket

Falcon 9 Block 5

Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of satellites and the Dragon spacecraft into orbit. The Block 5 variant is the fifth major interval aimed at improving upon the ability for rapid reusability.

SpaceX

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. It was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Elon Musk with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. SpaceX has many pads, on the East Coast of the US they own SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral and LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center for their lower inclination launches. They also own SLC-4E at Vandenberg, California for their high inclination launches. Another site is also being developed at Boca Chica, Texas.

B1051 will attempt to land on an ASDS OCISLY after the Starlink 3 launch.

Falcon 9 booster B1051 is a reusable orbital-class Block 5 Falcon 9 first-stage booster manufactured by SpaceX. B1051 launchd the NASA DM-1 Mission to the ISS. It includes the first set of upgraded helium composite overwapped pressure vessels dubbed COPV 2.0.

Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY)

The second ASDS barge, Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) services launches in the Atlantic Ocean and was the site of the first landing of a SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage during CRS-8, the launch of a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.

Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS)

An autonomous spaceport drone ship (ASDS) is an ocean-going vessel derived from a deck barge, outfitted with station-keeping engines and a large landing platform. Construction of such ships was commissioned by aerospace company SpaceX to allow for recovery of rocket first-stages at sea for high-velocity missions which do not carry enough fuel to return to the launch site after lofting spacecraft onto an orbital trajectory.