SpaceX successfully orbited another batch of 60 Starlink satellites, landed on the Falcon 9 booster that launched it, and caught the same half of the rocket payet fairing.
Starlink-13 is now the second time SpaceX has ever recovered a Falcon 9 booster at caught both fairing halves on the same mission, embarrassed only three months after the first victory.
The first full-fairing catch was just embarrassing three months before, with SpaceX launching ANASIS II military communications satellite for South Korea. SpaceX confirmed the back-to-back catch approximately one hour after the Falcon 9 in the 20th lift, followed by onboard videos showing both catches.
For the twin recovery ships GO Ms. Tree (formerly Mr. Steven) and GO Ms. Chief, successful recovery is effectively marked the first time the couple has achieved their goal in designing full respectful recovery. Technically, SpaceX has proven that faveing halves can fly at least three times even after missed catches and ocean splashdowns, but to avoid salt immersion helps prevent corrosion and make reuse easier.
One step further, the same Starlink-13 Falcon preparing SpaceX halves caught on October 18 was launched twice before – the second and third time SpaceX flew the same fairing half-three times. Unfortunately, one of the two halves seemed to be torn from the net of the received ship when it was caught and could see a slight collision against the supporting arms of the net. SpaceX needs to determine if it has suffered damage that could prevent reuse.
Meanwhile, about thirty minutes before the second fairing recovery trick of Ms. Tree at Ms. Chief, successfully assigned to the Falcon 9 booster assigned by Starlink-13 aboard the drone ship of Of course I Still Love You (OCISLY). Dedicated to B1051 and originally responsible for supporting the uncrewed orbital launch of Crew Dragon in March 2019, Starlink-13 is the sixth success in the first phase of launch and landing, making it the second booster of Falcon 9 to complete six and flight.
For Starlink-13, the use – and successful recovery – of a five-flight booster and two-flight fairing would likely mean that marginal SpaceX mission costs would be greater than the cost of the propellant (<$ 500k). ) and Falcon 9's exhausted upper phase (~ $ 10M), equivalent to the almost unimaginable ~ $ 700 per kilo of actual Starlink satellites launched. Assuming each Starlink satellite costs approximately $ 250k, it is easy to believe that SpaceX regularly launches 60 high-performance satellites for an all-in cost of just $ 25M-30M .
As an example of the impact of extraordinary affordability, if SpaceX put the sum of the latest $ 2B capital increase into Starlink missions, it would likely complete 60-80 launches, putting some 3600-4800 new ones. orbit satellite. The entire first phase of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation – which offers uninterrupted broadband internet anywhere on Earth – requires ~ 4400 satellites.
Incidentally, the Falcon 9 B1049 – the first booster launched and landed six times – was seen outside SpaceX’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) LC-39A launching facilities the day (Oct 17) before the B1051 left on the same pad. The follower appears to be approximately waiting for the next flight, indicating that all post-flight processing has been completed since its last launch on August 18.