A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches twin satellites for SES of Luxembourg from Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Friday. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo
March 17 (UPI) — SpaceX launched two space missions on Friday, one from California and one later in Florida.
The first launch lifted off at 3:26 p.m. EST from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California carrying 52 Starlink satellites into low-earth orbit. SpaceX later reported the successful separation of the Starlink satellites from the Falcon 9 rocket.
The second launch lifted off at 7:38 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station carrying the SES-18 and SES-19 communications satellites.
Shortly after the Florida liftoff, the booster stage of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the SES-18 and SES-19 satellites, separated and landed on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
The satellites from Luxembourg-based SES “will provide C-band television and data services over the United States,” NASA said.
According to Spaceflight Now, the two launches set a new record for the shortest turnaround time between SpaceX Falcon 9 launches. The old record was 7 hours and 10 minutes, which was set last October with launches from Florida and California
Starlink relies on a constellation of thousands of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to quickly transmit data from across the globe, including areas that often don’t have readily available internet access.
Friday’s launches mark the 18th and 19th conducted by SpaceX this year and the eighth and ninth liftoff and touchdown for the rockets launching in California and Florida respectively.
SpaceX on Tuesday launched food, equipment, and materials for experiments in orbit to the International Space Station.