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SpaceX Launches 61 Satellites into Earth Orbit

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
August 18, 2020

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage booster flying for a record sixth time helped to place 58 Starlink and three SkySat satellites into orbit on Tuesday.

Lifting off from Cape Canaveral at 10:31 a.m. EDT, the first stage did its job and then landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The second stage continued into orbit, where it first deployed three SkySat Earth observation satellites for Planet at 12.5 minutes after liftoff. The stage then released 58 Starlink broadband satellites into orbit at 46 minutes after launch.

It was the 11th Starlink launch, bringing the number of satellites placed in orbit to 653. The Starlink constellation, which will eventually total nearly 12,000 satellites, is designed to provide global broadband services.

Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in September 2018, the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019, and three separate Starlink missions in May 2019, January 2020, and June 2020.

Falcon 9’s fairing previously flew on the fourth launch of Starlink.

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