SpaceX made its 60th launch in a year

On December 28, a Falcon 9 rocket was launched from the Cape Canaveral cosmodrome. It became the 60th space mission implemented by SpaceX in 2022.

Launch of the Falcon 9 rocket with Starlink satellites. Source: SpaceX

The goal of the last launch was to deploy a new segment of the Starlink satellite Internet system. SpaceX has confirmed that the Falcon 9 has successfully launched 54 spacecraft into the specified orbit. The first stage of the rocket landed on an autonomous barge in the Atlantic Ocean. For it, this was already the 11th flight into space.

The peculiarity of the last mission was that the spacecraft were placed into an orbit designed to accommodate the second generation of Starlink satellites (Starlink v2.0). But the fact is, in terms of their size and dimensions, they are superior to the Starlink currently used. Consequently, the Falcon 9 simply could not lift 54 satellites v2.0.

In this regard, there is a version that some components from v2.0 can be installed on launched spacecraft. According to another assumption, SpaceX launched 53 regular Starlink and one v2.0 device. The company itself has not yet made any statements on this matter.

It is also worth saying that the last mission was the 60th for SpaceX this year. The company sent 59 Falcon 9 rockets into space (57 missions were accompanied by the return of the first stage) and 1 Falcon Heavy rocket. The last Falcon 9 launch in 2022 is scheduled for December 30. If it is not postponed, the company will keep its promise to carry out 60 Falcon 9 launches per year. However, even without this, the company set a new record, almost doubling its previous achievement of 31 launches in a year.

Recall that SpaceX recently announced the possibility of direct connection of smartphones to Starlink satellites.

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