SpaceX tests Falcon 9 rocket ahead of ‘Starlink 6’ mission
San Francisco: Elon Musk-led SpaceX has conducted a static fire test of its Falcon 9 rocket which is scheduled to launch the next fleet of 60 Starlink satellites in a mission called “Starlink 6” on April 23.
That rocket is expected to launch from the historic Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Space.com reported on Sunday.
This will be the fifth Starlink mission this year and the company’s seventh batch of operational satellites since 2019.
“Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Thursday, April 23 at 3:16 p.m. EDT, 19:16 UTC, for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from LC-39A in Florida,” SpaceX tweeted shortly after the test.
The first stage rocket booster supporting this mission previously supported the first flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station in 2019, launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, and the fourth Starlink mission.
Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious project to launch and operate its own network of broadband satellites, which will provide low-cost Internet to remote locations on a global level.
A Falcon 9 rocket will also launch SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station on May 27.
This “Demo-2” mission will be the final major step before NASA’s Commercial Crew Program certifies Crew Dragon for operational, long-duration missions to the space station.