Watch SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch 53 Starlink Satellites And Stick A Tricky Sea Landing

falcon9 rocket
SpaceX launches another 53 Starlink satellites into orbit, marking the third launch of a Falcon 9 rocket in just five days. Liftoff was at 6:59 a.m. EDT, after a 39 minute delay.

Perhaps one of the few things that can distract Elon Musk from the Twitter drama is a launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying more Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit. A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket loaded with 53 Starlink satellites launched earlier this morning from NASA's Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The launch was broadcasted live via SpaceX's YouTube channel. Today's launch marked the third mission for a Falcon 9 rocket in just five days. The two prior missions were on May 13 and May 14. Jessie Anderson stated during the live broadcast that this was landing number 121 for a SpaceX booster.

SpaceX showcased the tricky landing of the Falcon 9 rocket about nine minutes after launch in a short video on its Twitter's page. You can watch as the rocket slows and adjusts itself as it makes the complex landing onto SpaceX's droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean.

There have already been 21 missions in 2022 for SpaceX, with 14 of those being dedicated Starlink flights. The Starlink constellation already consists of more than 2,300 satellites, according to Jonathon McDowell, an astrophysicist and satellite tracker. That number could greatly increase up to 30,000 satellites, according to a Reuters report. In a study released on January 14, a group of researchers say that the growing number of Starlink satellites causes "concern about an impact of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellations on ground-based astronomical, in particular, on wide-field surveys in the optical and infrared." SpaceX has stated that it is taking measures to avoid this being an issue, such as using an experimental coating to make the satellites less reflective.

The Falcon 9 rocket utilized today has four previous launches under its belt. Being capable of reusing rockets in the manner SpaceX has created is vital to one day reaching Mars in the eyes of founder and CEO Elon Musk.

Top Image Courtesy of SpaceX