SpaceX Launches Additional Starlink Satellites with Direct-to-Cell Capability

SpaceX Launches Additional Starlink Satellites with Direct-to-Cell Capability

Last night, SpaceX launched twenty additional Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 4 East at the Californian Vandenberg Space Force Base.

As the Falcon 9 rocketed into space, the mission began at 9:30 p.m. ET and traveled south along the Californian coast.

Thirteen of the twenty Starlink satellites launched can communicate directly with cells. These 13 satellites will help eliminate dead zones and enable dependable communications for those who are in extremely remote regions. These satellites will be able to connect directly to mobile phones, much how existing phones connect to land-based cell towers.

This flight was SpaceX’s 75th mission from SLC-4E. In its early days, the company had not conducted many launches. However, as the Starlink constellation expansion accelerated, an increasing number of missions commenced from California, and SpaceX has been able to expedite the pad turnaround for subsequent missions.

Booster 1082, the fourth launch of the Falcon 9 that carried 23 Starlinks into a 53-degree orbit, was successfully completed. Just 29 days prior to this most recent Starlink mission, B1082 had already launched two Starlink missions and a weather satellite for the Department of Defense.

Following its segment of the journey, B1082 touched down without incident atop the droneship “Of Course I Still Love You,” where it was transported back to the Port of Long Beach for maintenance in preparation for its fifth mission.

For SpaceX, this was mission number 48 for the year. Next on the plan for this Sunday is another Starlink mission out of Florida, which should arrive no early than 8:11 p.m. ET.

Sanchita Patil

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