This is the company’s third launch since its launchIt was launched on May 30, which was the first time it landed and recovered one of the rockets after the military satellite was brought into orbit. The first phase of the Falcon 9 landed on the drone eight minutes after launch and immediately read the instructions. SpaceX also reported that it is able to recycle the two parts of the fairing or nose cone for reuse in future missions.
The mission is the company’s 11th launch in 2020. Continuing such a rapid launch speed will make it easy for Elon Musk’s commercial space startup to set a company record for most launches in a year.
The company launched another military GPS satellite in 2018. At the time, the US Air Force determined that SpaceX could not perform the required flight trajectory, nor could it land the first-stage booster.
Since then, SpaceX has negotiated with the US military on GPS mission requirements and launch costs to enable SpaceX to attempt to land its first phase after launching satellites on Tuesday.
More coming soon
SpaceX also plans a second Starlink Last week’s mission, but the launch was postponed, and the new target launch date is July 8.
“The team needs extra time for checkout before launch, but the Falcon 9 and satellite are healthy,” SpaceX tweeted hours before the scheduled launch time on Friday.
SpaceX is by far the most active year so far in 2018, with 21 launches. Now its pace will exceed this goal in 2020, if the plan is achieved, then it may launch 38 times this year. According to the draft document submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year, the company hopes to continue to increase the calendar’s itinerary in order to complete 70 missions by 2023.
Many launches will be Starlink missions, because SpaceX hopes to put thousands of small satellites into orbit within ten years. The company has also started, Along with a batch of Starlink birds to make room for some commercial payloads.
The next Starlink launch will be the second Starlink ride, this time to provide two Earth observation microsatellites for Black Sky, a company that provides high-definition satellite images.
SpaceX is trying to expand its growing constellation to nearly 600 satellites and approach the threshold of 800 flying routers..