SpaceX launches Starlink rideshare mission as constellation deployment milestone nears

Written by Lee Kanayama & Joseph Navin May 15, 2021

SpaceX launched its third Starlink mission in just 11 days on the v1.0 L26 flight. The mission brings the total number of operational Starlink v1.0 satellites launched to near 1,567 – just shy of the 1,584 needed to declare all of the first shell of Starlinks launched.

The mission, with 52 Starlink satellites and two rideshare payloads (Capella Whitney 4 and Tyvak-0130), launched on a Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, 15 May at 18:54 EDT / 22:54 UTC.

Overall, this was the 28th Starlink mission, the 27th flight of operational Starlinks, the 15th Falcon 9 flight of the year, the fourth Starlink rideshare mission, the third time a Falcon 9 first stage will fly for an eighth time, and the third Falcon 9 flight in 11 days.


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