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SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 carrying 46 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit

On Friday, another group of Starlink satellites was launched into orbit by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Elon  Musk, the founder of American satellite communications and spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX, released information on the launch of the latest satellite on his official Twitter page.

As per SpaceX data, from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, Falcon 9 released 46 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 carrying 46 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 carrying 46 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit

The rocket touched down over a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean 9 minutes after its launch, and then it was back in the air in no time. The rocket touched down in the Pacific Ocean above a drone ship 9 minutes after its launch, and it was in the air again in no time. About  63 minutes after the launch, when the broadcast ended, the second phase was supposed to deliver the satellites.

Based on a report by SpaceNews, the new satellites are indeed a part of Group 3, which orbits in an area that may be vulnerable to “squalls” of debris from a Russian anti-satellite experiment that occurred in November of last year.

The 841 Starlink satellites, which make up approximately 30% of the SpaceX constellation, are subject to 6,000 near encounters in a conjunction squall event, according to space tracking company COMSPOC.

Two orbiting objects are said to be in conjunction when they are 6 miles (10 km) or even less distant, according to COMSPOC rules. While SpaceX hasn’t commented on whether any Starlinks were affected, the company has previously said that its satellites can maneuver to avoid close-range spacecraft or debris.

Group 3 of Starlink’s 5 layers of spacecraft are in a comparable orbit to other sun-synchronous satellites that have previously encountered Russian ASAT debris, according to a report from COMSPOC. According to Teslarati, Group 3 is located at a height of 347 miles (560 kilometers), with an inclination of 97.6 degrees.

Two more Group 3 collections were already launched into orbit by SpaceX on July 10 and July 22, both from Vandenberg.

With its 36th flight of 2022, SpaceX broke its own record for most launches in a calendar year. In 2022, the business completed its 34th relaunch of a booster as well as its 62nd straight first-stage landing.

According to sources, the mission on Friday marked the 10th launch of this specific Falcon 9 first stage, and it was carried out by SpaceX.

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