Another set of Starlink Internet satellites launched Tuesday from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Powered by a reusable first stage booster making its sixth flight, the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 10:31 a.m. EDT (1431 GMT). Three SkySat Earth-imaging satellites for Planet accompanied SpaceX’s 58 Starlink relay stations into orbit.
The last planned batch of high-resolution SkySat commercial Earth-viewing reconnaissance satellites owned by Planet will accompany 58 Starlink broadband relay stations on a climb into orbit Tuesday from Cape Canaveral on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, adding to the world’s two largest commercial satellite fleets.
SpaceX aims to re-launch the Falcon 9 booster Monday that catapulted astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken toward the International Space Station in May, this time carrying a South Korean military communications satellite while pursuing a record for the quickest turnaround time between flights of an orbital-class rocket stage.
Hours after calling off a launch of a different rocket from a nearby launch pad, SpaceX’s launch team loaded a Falcon 9 rocket with propellant Saturday and fired its nine main engines on pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, setting the stage for a liftoff with a South Korean military satellite as soon as Tuesday amid a busy stretch of missions for the California-based rocket company.