January 21, 2022

Live coverage: SpaceX launches first mission of 2022


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Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will launch SpaceX’s next batch of 49 Starlink broadband satellites. Text updates will appear automatically below. Follow us on Twitter.

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SpaceX’s first launch of 2022 took off Thursday afternoon, when a Falcon 9 rocket carried 49 more Starlink internet satellites into orbit.

Launch from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center occurred at 4:49 p.m. EST (2149 GMT), and the Falcon 9 tracked southeast from Florida’s Space Coast just north of the Bahamas, rather than the more typical northeasterly route to orbit.

You can watch a replay of our live launch coverage on this page.

This was SpaceX’s first launch of the year, following a record launch rate in 2021 with 31 Falcon 9 missions from the company’s three active launch pads in Florida and California.

The mission, designated Starlink 4-5, aimed to release the 49 Starlink satellites into an elliptical orbit about 15 minutes after liftoff. The Falcon 9 flew with a reused first stage booster, numbered B1062, on its fourth mission to space.

Read our mission preview story for details.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1062.4)

PAYLOAD: 49 Starlink satelllites

LAUNCH SITE: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

LAUNCH DATE: Jan. 6, 2022

LAUNCH TIME: 4:49 p.m. EST (2149 GMT)

WEATHER FORECAST: 80% probability of acceptable weather

BOOSTER RECOVERY: “A Shortfall of Gravitas” drone ship north of the Bahamas

LAUNCH AZIMUTH: Southeast

TARGET ORBIT: 210 miles by 130 miles (339 kilometers by 210 kilometers), 53.2 degrees inclination

LAUNCH TIMELINE:

  • T+00:00: Liftoff
  • T+01:12: Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q)
  • T+02:32: First stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
  • T+02:36: Stage separation
  • T+02:44: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:52: Fairing jettison
  • T+06:49: First stage entry burn ignition (three engines)
  • T+07:09: First stage entry burn cutoff
  • T+08:27: First stage landing burn ignition (one engine)
  • T+08:49: First stage landing
  • T+08:50: Second stage engine cutoff (SECO 1)
  • T+15:31: Starlink satellite separation

MISSION STATS:

  • 135th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • 143rd launch of Falcon rocket family since 2006
  • 4th launch of Falcon 9 booster B1062
  • 119th Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s Space Coast
  • 136th launch overall from pad 39A
  • 42nd SpaceX launch overall from pad 39A
  • 79th flight of a reused Falcon 9 booster
  • 34th dedicated Falcon 9 launch with Starlink satellites
  • 1st Falcon 9 launch of 2022
  • 1st launch by SpaceX in 2022
  • 1st orbital launch based out of Cape Canaveral in 2022

If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further.
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