SpaceX Falcon 9 anniversary flight on the background of the Moon

The tenth SpaceX launch this year turned out to be surprisingly photo-hygienic. The Falcon 9 rocket, carrying 55 Starlink satellites on board, launched perfectly on February 12. The spectacular ascent into orbit of the morning launch from the space force station at Cape Canaveral in Florida against the background of an almost full moon, SpaceX filmed and posted on its Twitter page. 

Falcon 9 on the background of the Moon. Photo: SpaceX

Approximately eight minutes after the ascent, the first stage of the Falcon 9 separated and landed on its own, as expected, on the unmanned platform A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was waiting in the Atlantic Ocean several hundred kilometers from the coast of Florida.

For this particular Falcon 9 booster, it was the 12th successful takeoff and landing. Previous missions have included nine other Starlink satellite launches and two outstanding private astronaut flights: the Ax-1 journey to the International Space Station in April 2022 and the Inspiration4 Earth orbit mission in September 2021.

Sunday’s launch added 55 more satellites to the fast-growing Starlink Internet service; now the orbital fleet has more than 3,500 active satellites. In addition, SpaceX has permission to launch 12 thousand Starlink spacecraft. But the company has already applied for an additional 30,000 satellites.

In 2023, SpaceX has already made ten launches with Falcon 9 rockets. Another one was carried out by a powerful Falcon Heavy rocket. According to CEO Elon Musk, Starship, the next-generation spacecraft tasked with delivering payloads and people to the Moon and beyond, would make its first attempt to enter orbit shortly after it managed to ignite the Booster 7 with 31 Raptor engines last week.

Earlier, we reported on how SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted a record-breaking cargo into space.

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