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Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX transports its biggest payload to space

On Thursday morning, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched into space with the biggest payload ever.

At 4:22 a.m., it will launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. According to comments made during the mission’s broadcast, the Falcon 9 carried 56 Starlink broadband satellites as part of a payload weighing 17,400 kilograms (38,400 pounds).

Falcon 9 Rocket Sets New Payload Weight Record

The first-stage booster had previously launched two crewed flights to the International Space Station, as well as the CRS-22, Turksat 5B, CRS-25, Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13G, mPOWER-a, and now two Starlink missions.

According to SpaceX, the 56 spacecraft launched on Thursday totaled more than 17.4 metric tons, or more than 38,000 pounds, shattering the record for the heaviest payload ever flown on a SpaceX rocket.

Engineers at the business have experimented with engine throttle settings, fuel efficiency, and other minor improvements to extend the Falcon 9’s lift capability. SpaceX intends to launch second-generation Starlink satellites on its new Starship mega-rocket in the future.

Those satellites will be larger and more capable than SpaceX’s current fleet of Starlink spacecraft and will be capable of transmitting signals directly to cell phones.

But with the Starship rocket still undergoing preparations for its first orbital test flight, SpaceX officials signaled they will start launching the Gen2 satellites on Falcon 9 rockets.

According to Jonathan McDowell, an expert tracker of spaceflight activity and an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, SpaceX presently has over 3,400 operational Starlink satellites in space, with more than 3,100 operational and around 200 going into operational orbits.

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SpaceX Launches Pre-dawn Mission

Space-Technology-SpaceX- Falcon9-US-Newsbreak
On Thursday morning, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched into space with the biggest payload ever. At 4:22 a.m., it will launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

For Thursday’s predawn countdown, SpaceX’s launch team was stationed inside a launch control center just south of Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. At T-minus 35 minutes, SpaceX began loading super-chilled, densified kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants into the Falcon 9 vehicle.

Following the launch, the Falcon 9 rocket used its 1.7 million pounds of power produced by nine Merlin engines to steer southeast over the Atlantic Ocean.

This winter, SpaceX has resumed launches from Cape Canaveral, rather than paths to the northeast, to take advantage of better sea conditions for landing the Falcon 9’s first-stage rocket.

The Falcon 9 rocket broke the sound barrier in roughly one minute and then shut down its nine main engines two and a half minutes later. After separating from the upper stage of the Falcon 9, the booster stage fired pulses from cold gas control thrusters and extended titanium grid fins to help direct the vehicle back into the atmosphere.

During the second stage burn, the Falcon 9’s reusable payload fairing was discarded. A rescue ship was also stationed in the Atlantic to recover the nose cone’s two sections once they landed under parachutes.

SpaceX is now preparing one of its Falcon 9 rockets for a crewed trip in late February, the company’s first such mission since October 2022.

Crew-6 will transport an international crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a Crew Dragon, which, like the rockets, has already completed several missions.

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