SpaceX caps off busy May with 8th Falcon 9 launch

B1061 lands on the droneship as stage 2 continues to orbit (Credit SpaceX)

SpaceX successfully launched another Starlink mission at 11:02 PM PT (06:02 UTC), this time sending 52 V1.5 Starlink satellites to orbit from SLC-4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base. These satellites will be placed into a 70-degree orbital inclination around the Earth.

Launching the Starlink Group 2-10 mission, was B1061, on its 14th flight. Previously having supported the Crew 1 and Crew 2 missions, 4 prior Starlink missions, and numerous commercial satellite missions.

Approximately 17 minutes after launch, the 52 Starlink satellites were deployed from stage 2, however, this took place over an area with no ground stations and SpaceX had to wait a bit longer to confirm a successful mission. With this Starlink mission, SpaceX has launched over 4,500 Starlink satellites, of which, around 4,100 are working. This current Group 2-10 satellites will now go through checkouts before actively joining the constellation.

Following stage separation, B1061 successfully touched down on the droneship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ and will be brought back to the Port of Los Angeles in the following days before being refurbished and readied for its next mission. Currently, no Falcon 9 has flown more than 15 times but SpaceX is currently in the process of extending the 15 flight certification to 20 as they prove the reusability capabilities of the Falcon 9.

On top of all of this, just a few hours earlier SpaceX landed 4 humans back on Earth after a 10-day stay in space, 8 of which were docked to the International Space Station.

Coming up next for SpaceX looks to be a busy start of June, there could be up 5 Falcon 9 launches within the first 10 days of the month, however, 4 of those are scheduled to launch from Florida where the weather could play spoiler and would require a very rapid turnaround of the launch pads on the Space Coast. With SpaceX, you can never rule out such a cadence if the weather holds.

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SpaceX caps off busy May with 8th Falcon 9 launch
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