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Date: 2023-11-12 22:41:56
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SpaceX achieved another milestone on Sunday, November 12, with the successful launch of the SES O3b mPOWER mission. The mission involved deploying two new communication satellites into medium Earth orbit (MEO) to expand the O3b constellation of communication satellites operated SES S.A. of Luxembourg.
The launch took place at 4:08 p.m. EST (2108 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Falcon 9 rocket, which had previously flown on eight missions, including those dedicated to Starlink, lifted off to carry the two Boeing-built spacecraft towards their destination.
An impressive aspect of the launch was the landing of Falcon 9’s first stage. Approximately 8.5 minutes after liftoff, the first stage made a successful vertical touchdown on SpaceX’s drone ship, “A Shortfall of Gravitas,” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. However, the rocket’s upper stage was not recovered, following the standard procedure for Falcon 9 flights.
After two hours, the rocket’s upper stage deployed the first satellite, and another seven minutes later, the second satellite was released. Once the entire six-satellite O3b constellation is completed, expected late 2023, it will provide high-speed connectivity to a wide range of customers in government and private sectors.
This launch marks a significant achievement for SpaceX, bringing the total number of launches this year to an impressive 84. With its frequent launches, SpaceX continues to demonstrate its reliability and efficiency in the space industry.
1. What is the purpose of the O3b constellation?
The O3b constellation aims to provide high-speed connectivity to customers in government and private industries.
2. How many satellites are currently part of Starlink?
As of now, Starlink consists of more than 5,000 operational satellites.
3. Why was the rocket’s upper stage not recovered?
The decision not to recover the rocket’s upper stage is a standard practice for Falcon 9 flights.