SpaceX launches more direct to cell capable Starlink satellites

Falcon 9 launches 20 Starlink satellites (Credit SpaceX)

SpaceX launched 20 more Starlink satellites last night from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The mission took off at 9:30 pm ET and headed south along the Californian coast as the Falcon 9 ascended into space.

Of the 20 Starlink satellites launched, 13 of them are direct-to-cell capable. These 13 satellites will be able to connect directly to cell phones in the same way current phones connect to land-based cell towers, and these satellites will help eliminate dead zones and allow people who are in very remote locations to have reliable communications.

This launch marked the 75th mission from SLC-4E for SpaceX, which had not seen very many launches in its early days. But as the Starlink constellation build-out ramped up, more and more missions started to take place out of California and SpaceX has been able to turn the pad around for follow-up missions at a faster pace.

The Falcon 9 that sent the 23 Starlinks into a 53-degree orbital trajectory was Booster 1082, which completed its fourth overall launch. B1082 had previously launched 2 Starlink missions and a weather satellite for the Department of Defense, which launched just 29 days before this most recent Starlink mission.

After its portion of the flight, B1082 made a smooth landing on the droneship “Of Course I Still Love You” to be brought back to the Port of Long Beach for refurbishment ahead of its 5th mission.

This was the 48th mission of the year for SpaceX. Next up is another Starlink mission from Florida this Sunday currently scheduled for no earlier than 8:11 pm ET.

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SpaceX launches more direct to cell capable Starlink satellites
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