Falcon 9 booster flies record-breaking 13th mission

SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster, using first stage core B1060 for a 13th time, sent 53 Starlink satellites into orbit. Credit: Theresa Cross / Spaceflight Insider

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, using first stage core B1060 for a 13th time, sent 53 Starlink satellites into orbit. Credit: Theresa Cross / Spaceflight Insider

Launching for the 13th time, a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster lofted another batch of Starlink internet satellites into low Earth orbit.

Liftoff occurred at 12:09 p.m. EDT (16:09 UTC) June 17, 2022, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Aboard were 53 Starlink satellites. Called Group 4-19, it was the 18th launch to the fourth shell of the mega constellation.

Flying the mission’s first leg was Falcon 9 first stage core B1060, which was on its record-breaking 13th use.

Core B1060 first flew in June of 2020 to orbit a GPS III satellite for the U.S. Department of Defense. Since then, it has lofted a Turkish spacecraft, a dedicated rideshare mission, as well as more than 500 Starlink satellites.

Its most recent mission was this April when it also launched 53 Starlink satellites. Between that flight and this flight was about 55 days.

This mission was also the 100th re-flight of a Falcon 9 first stage and the 50th consecutive successful landing. The booster intercepted and landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” staged around 400 miles (650 kilometers) downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.

The two fairing halves are expected to be retrieved by the tug “Doug,” which is part of the company’s support fleet.

Video courtesy of SpaceX

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