SpaceX on Tuesday, 4 May 2021 – also known as ‘Star Wars Day’ – launched its 25th Starlink mission. It’s the 10th Starlink launch for 2021. Here’s what you need to know.
Starlink 15: Mission details
Trusted Falcon 9 B1049
SpaceX sent the next batch of 60 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The first stage booster B1049 previously also supported the launch of Telstar 18 VANTAGE, Iridium-8, and six other Starlink missions.
While Space.com points out that the B1049 “won’t make the Kessel Run”, it blasted off just fine from Launchpad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States, on Tuesday, 4 May.
Following stage separation, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage booster landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Watch: Starlink launch, 4 May 2021
A sprinkle of magic on Star Wars Day
Did you know Elon Musk named his family of Falcon rockets after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars? True story. Furthermore, the family of Dragon spacecraft is named after Puff the Magic Dragon. Now you know!
While today’s launch was the 10th Starlink launch for 2021, it also marked the 13th overall launch for SpaceX this year. Several more launches are planned, another two for May, although dates have not been confirmed as yet.
The Starlink initiative will eventually see 4 409 satellites launched into orbit, followed by a further 7 518 that will do their work at a slightly lower altitude than the rest of the satellites.
Deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed, completing SpaceX’s 10th Starlink mission this year pic.twitter.com/hbL8UV15hk
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 4, 2021
However, launching Internet satellites into space is only part of SpaceX and Starlink’s objective. Musk also plans to use revenue from the Internet coverage mission to develop and build Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rockets.