In its 40th mission so far this year, Elon Musk-led SpaceX said on Monday that it has successfully launched 51 more Starlink satellites into orbit.
Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, used as the launch pad for the Falcon 9 rocket that placed 51 Starlink satellites and Spaceflight’s Sherpa-LTC into orbit.
“Deployment of 51 Starlink satellites confirmed, completing SpaceX’s 40th mission so far this year! Deployment of Spaceflight’s Sherpa-LTC confirmed,” the company said in a tweet.
As part of Boeing’s Varuna Technology Demonstration Mission, the Sherpa-LTC orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) is carrying a Spaceflight customer payload that will test V-band communications for a future constellation of 147 non-geostationary broadband satellites.
Sherpa-LTC will be released by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 at a height of 310 kilometres above the Earth surface. The Sherpa-LTC will next move to its designated 1,000-kilometer orbit where it will be tested for two years using its onboard high-thrust propulsion system.
Musk claimed last week that SpaceX is currently launching Starlink satellites almost every five days and intends to launch 100 orbital flights by the year 2023.
SpaceX has already broken its own record for the most annual launches (31) and is now aiming to double the number.
Late last month, SpaceX launched 54 more of its Starlink broadband satellites in orbit and landed a rocket on a ship at sea.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Group has become the first in the global cruise industry to adopt SpaceX Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency Internet services for a better onboard experience for guests and crew.
The broadband internet service will be installed on all Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises ships, along with all new vessels for each of the brands.
It is anticipated that the installation will be finished by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
(inputs from IANS)