SpaceX Recently Launched Its 100th Falcon 9 Mission Cape Canaveral Florida

SpaceX continues to expand its satellite-internet constellation with its 186th overall launch.

SpaceX continues to expand its satellite-internet constellation with its 186th overall launch.

SpaceX celebrated its 100th launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Thursday by sending up another bunch of its Starlink internet satellites.

An instantaneous launch window opened at 10:50 a.m. with weather conditions more than 90% favorable for the mission, according to the 45th Weather Squadron.

It took more than 12 years to get to 100 liftoffs. Falcon 9′s debut was from SLC 40 at what was then Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, taking off on June 4, 2010, with a version of its in-development Dragon capsule. That test flight was a success, although an attempt to have the first-stage booster descend with the aid of a parachute did not succeed.

That flight came in the wake of President Obama shutting down the moon-bound Constellation program and its Ares rocket. It was integral to the introduction of commercial space companies to provide cargo and eventually crew to missions to the International Space Station ahead of the end of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

NASA Administrator’s View

“There’s a lot riding on the maiden flight of Falcon 9,” said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden at the time, while the Sentinel quoted an unnamed aerospace executive who said, “If they go down the tubes, we all go with them.”

From Launch Event’s Picture

CNN reported that SpaceX made a request to the Pentagon for the U.S. government to take over financing of the effort. Musk later rescinded the request in a Twitter post promising to continue to front the bill.

Starlink is a constellation of internet satellites built mainly to provide service for remote areas. The network is huge and ever-growing; with more than 3,100 estimated operational satellites(opens in new tab) in orbit, SpaceX has hopes to expand that by tenfold pending regulatory approval.

Starlink service has proven crucial to besieged Ukrainians during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, and SpaceX recently pledged to keep funding the constellation’s Ukraine service after initially saying the Pentagon should help bear the cost.

This was the 31st launch for Starlink this year, and 65th overall since the first operational deployment in 2019, with more than 3,500 satellites sent to orbit, according to statistics tracked by renown astronomer Jonathan McDowell.

The launch was the 48th Falcon 9 liftoff of 2022 for Elon Musk’s company, which also launches from nearby Kennedy Space Center and from Vandenburg Space Force Base in California.

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