Falcon 9 rocket launch with the Starlink-30 mission – September 14, 2021

Falcon 9 rocket launch with the Starlink-30 mission – September 14, 2021

Monday, September 13, 2021 10:25 PM

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Falcon 9 rocket launch with the Sentinel-6 mission by Michael Freilich (Source: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 rocket launch with the Sentinel-6 mission by Michael Freilich (Source: SpaceX)

Falcon 9 rocket launch with the Sentinel-6 mission by Michael Freilich (Source: SpaceX)

The Falcon 9 rocket with the Starlink-30 (Starlink Group 2-1) mission from the SLC-4E platform at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California is scheduled to launch on September 14 at 05:55 CET (03:55 UTC). The rocket will carry 51 satellites of the Starlink constellation. Cargo separation is planned for just over 15 minutes after take-off.

You will be able to follow the start live on our website.

Starlink is a constellation of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) built by SpaceX, which is to ultimately provide access to the Internet around the world. During this mission, the satellites will for the first time be launched into an orbit with an inclination of 70 ° to ultimately hit an altitude of about 570 km above the Earth. This will be the first Starlink mission from the US West Coast. Currently in orbit there are 1621 satellites in orbits with an inclination of 53 °, as well as 13 satellites in orbits with an inclination of 97.6 °.

The orbits of the satellites of the first part of the Starlink constellation
number of orbital planes 72 72 36 6 4
number of satellites in the plane 22 22 20 58 43
height 550 km 540 km 570 km 560 km 560 km
inclination 53° 53,2° 70° 97,6° 97,6°

Elon Musk announced that during this launch, Starlink version 1.5 (V1.5) satellites with the possibility of laser communication with each other will be launched. By using this technology, it will be possible to provide the service far from earth stations, for example near the poles or in the oceans, and should also reduce latency throughout the network. According to the available information, from now on, all Starlink satellites launched will be equipped with laser communication equipment.

Compared to most Starlink missions from Florida, the rocket will have less satellites – 51 instead of 60. This is due to the fact that with a more inclined orbit and a launch pad further from the equator, the rocket receives a lower initial velocity due to the rotation of the Earth. Additionally, laser communication equipment is likely to increase the weight of the satellites by several percent.

This flight will use the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket, which previously participated in nine missions: Telstar 18 VANTAGE in September 2018, Iridium-8 in January 2019, and seven Starlink missions between May 2019 and May 2021. After the separation of the second tier, the booster’s landing on the platform is planned Of Course I Still Love You (OCISLY) in the Pacific Ocean.

The cargo covers that will be used during this mission have also been used before. The first one took part in the NROL-108 mission in December 2020, the second in the GPS III SV03 mission in June 2020 and the Turksat 5A mission in January 2021. It is probably planned to recover them once again after launching on the surface of the ocean with a ship NRC Quest.

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Falcon 9 rocket launch with the Starlink-30 mission – September 14, 2021