Words and Photos by Jon Reino
On 12/2/2021 at 6:12 pm EST (2312 UTC), SpaceX launched the record-breaking 'Starlink 4-3' mission from SLC-40 in Cape Canaveral, FL. This is the 27th Falcon 9 launch that SpaceX has completed this year, surpassing their previous record of 26 set in 2020. 58 Starlink broadband internet satellites were on board, along with 2 remote sensing satellites for BlackSky.
The first stage booster successfully landed on the SpaceX drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas’ (ASOG) several hundred miles downrange in the Atlantic Ocean, marking the ninth time this booster has landed safely. Together they will return to Port Canaveral in the coming days. The next Falcon 9 launch is expected to be the 'IXPE' Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer mission for NASA, launching December 9th from Pad-39a at Kennedy Space Center.
Streak sequence showing liftoff, detail of Max Q through stage separation, and re-entry burn (Jon Reino, SN)
(Jon Reino, SN)
Spaceflight News will be on location for the launch of 'STP-3' this weekend, follow us on social media for live updates and coverage. View our pre-launch coverage HERE.