Successful start with the Starlink-28 mission

Successful start with the Starlink-28 mission

Sunday, May 16, 2021 2:38 AM

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Falcon 9 rocket launch with Starlink-28 mission (Source: Stephen Marr for NSF, NASASpaceFlight.com)

Falcon 9 rocket launch with Starlink-28 mission (Source: Stephen Marr for NSF, NASASpaceFlight.com)

Falcon 9 rocket launch with Starlink-28 mission (Source: Stephen Marr for NSF, NASASpaceFlight.com)

On May 16 at 00:56 Polish time (May 15, 22:56 UTC) the Falcon 9 rocket took off from the LC-39A platform at the Kennedy (KSC) in Florida with the Starlink-28 (Starlink V1.0 L26) mission. At the top of the rocket there were 52 Starlink satellites and two additional payloads – Capella 6 and Tyvak-0130. About 57 minutes after take-off, one of the additional charges was separated, followed by a little more than three minutes later by the other. Starlink satellites were separated approximately 98 minutes after take-off.

Starlink is a constellation of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) built by SpaceX, which is to ultimately provide access to the Internet around the world. This year, 722 Starlink satellites have already been launched, with a total of 1606 in orbit. You can read more about this mission and payload in an article published before launch.

During this flight, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket was used, which had previously participated in seven missions: Crew Demo-2 in May 2020, ANASIS-II in July 2020, Starlink-13 in October 2020, CRS-21 in December 2020 year, Transporter-1 in January 2021, Starlink-21 in March 2021 and Starlink-24 in April 2021. After the separation of the second stage, the booster landed on an autonomous platform Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) in the Atlantic Ocean.

The cargo covers that had taken part in previous missions were also used. For both of them it was the second flight, one was previously used during the SXM-7 mission in December 2020, the other during the NROL-108 mission, also in December 2020. It was planned to recover them once again by catching them from the ocean surface after being launched by the ship Shelia Bordelon. So far, it is not known whether the covers have been recovered in good condition.

The full boot clip can be viewed below.