SpaceX has finalized its 21st Falcon 9 liftoff of 2022, proceeding with an average tempo of more than one launch per week.
After an unexplained 40-minute wait from 6:20 am EDT, old Falcon Heavy booster B1052 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A promptly after sunrise at 6:59 am EDT on Wednesday, May 18th. Holding up its second batch of Starlink satellites on its third mission as a Falcon 9 booster and fifth launch overall, the Falcon B1052 conducted the launch ideally by safely carrying a reused Falcon expendable upper stage and stack of 53 Starlink satellites most of the way exempt of Earth’s atmosphere.
B1052 again segregated and coasted back to Earth as Falcon 9’s upper stage began to orbit. About nine minutes past the liftoff, the booster lighted on drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas. The upper class reached a safe parking orbit, underlining the unexpected end of SpaceX’s official webcast. Starlink satellite deployment was generally anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes after launch, which now occurs off-camera, with only a tiny vocal confirmation and a tweet from SpaceX to assess the most significant part of each mission.
SpaceX will have achieved a remarkable feat if Falcon 9 does conduct its 134th successful launch in a row sometime the following month. But simultaneously, R-7’s 133-launch record indicates that at one point in history, a completely different rocket family that had been averaging more than one liftoff per week for nearly a decade still ceased to function after 133 successful launches. Modern airliners serve as another good hint at the inherent instability of complex artificial mechanisms. Although they are statistically one of the stablest forms of mass transit humans have ever established, they still sometimes crash.