Aeronautical company SpaceX has launched the Falcon 9 recyclable rocket into space from Florida, with a new batch of 52 satellites for its Starlink internet network.
In addition to the satellites to provide broadband internet, the rocket was attached to a Capella Synthetic Aperture radar satellite and another Tyvak-0130, SpaceX said via Twitter.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the latter is “an optical spectrum astronomical observation nanosatellite”.
The launch took place at 8.56am on Sunday AEST from the 39 A complex of Kennedy Space Station, Cape Canaveral, and eight minutes and 30 seconds later the reusable part completed its return to successfully land on a floating platform in the Atlantic Ocean.
The two-phase Falcon 9 reusable rocket lifted off with the satellite pack at the tip and then returned to land on the platform dubbed “Of Course I Still Love You.”
This allows SpaceX to reuse the more expensive parts of the rocket, which in turn reduces the cost of access to space, according to its website.
This is the third Falcon 9 rocket launched in the past two weeks, as well as its 15th mission so far in 2021.
Since 2010 there have been at least 116 launches of this rocket considered a workhorse by the company of Elon Musk, also owner of Tesla electric cars, and NASA partner in the program to send astronauts to the International Space Station in commercial ships from US soil.
The idea of Musk’s company is to place 1584 satellites of the Starlink program in Earth orbit, about 549 kilometres above the earth, a distance much shorter than usual for these commercial devices.
On May 4, the aerospace company launched another batch of 60 satellites into space from Florida for its Starlink internet network.
With the massive shipment of satellites from the Starlink network, SpaceX intends to provide high-speed, constant and “affordable” internet to users anywhere in the world through these satellites that will operate in a low orbit, which will allow a better connection and service.
On Thursday, tech giant Google announced that it had reached a joint agreement with Spacex to provide data, cloud services and applications for Starlink’s business customers at locations around the world beginning this year.
In addition, SpaceX will install ground stations within Google data centres that will connect to Starlink satellites, allowing fast and secure internet services through Google Cloud.