Last night, a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Base in California launched another batch of twenty-two Starlink satellites into orbit at 12:03 am PT (08:03 UTC).

For the corporation, this flight was the 91st orbital launch of the year. A little more than an hour after liftoff, the 22 Starlink satellites were detached from the second stage and sent into an orbit with a 53-degree inclination.
This is where I would usually put the lift-off clip from X, however during the launch last night, the stream was broken and only picked up the mission with poor buffering around 20 seconds into the mission. As of right now, X is still experiencing problems replaying the mission.

In summary, the rocket launched on schedule, achieved stage separation, and passed through maximum dynamic pressure (Max Q). Following this, the Falcon 9 first stage started its return trip, while the second stage proceeded into orbit.
Regarding the first stage, the Starlinks were launched into orbit by Booster 1071. After having launched six Starlink flights, two highly classified surveillance satellites, two Transporter missions, one science mission for CNES, NASA, and CSA, and the SARah-1 mission, it has already completed its thirteenth journey.

Eight and a half minutes after launch, B1071 completed another successful landing on the droneship “Of Course I Still Love You.” The booster completed its final mission in 27 days, which was a little faster than usual because it landed at landing zone 4 rather than a droneship. With a turnaround period of only approximately 6.5 and a half days, the launch site was among SpaceX’s fastest, if not the fastest, between flights from Vandenberg. They will be able to raise their launch cadence the next year if they shorten that period even more.

Next up is the Falcon Heavy OTV-7 (X-37B) spaceplane mission. SpaceX has not officially confirmed this flight, but a press release from Space Systems Command public affairs revealed a launch window of 10 minutes on December 10th, starting at 8:14 pm ET (01:14 UTC).

Topics #22 Starlink #Falcon 9 #satellites