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    SpaceX pulls off a Starlink double-launch aboard Falcon 9s

    By Rae Hodge,

    23 days ago
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4efOxf_0u25v5WN00

    Atop its Falcon 9 rockets, commercial spaceflight outfit SpaceX launched two batches of its Starlink internet satellites into orbit Sunday — one from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, and the other from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The east coast launch included 22 Starlink satellites, while the California launch carried 20, including 13 that have direct-to-cell communications capabilities. Both Falcon 9 rockets landed on SpaceX droneships in the ocean, minutes after launch, as planned.

    "Satellites with Direct to Cell capabilities enable seamless access to data without phone modifications or special apps," Starlink explained in a social media post.

    The Sunday launches come just ahead of another highly anticipated launch for SpaceX — which is slated to carry a powerful new meteorological satellite from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, called GOES-U, into orbit Tuesday atop a Heavy Falcon. GOES-U (which stands for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite U) will enable earlier oceanic storm detection and give weather broadcasters more time for public warnings ahead of hurricanes. GOES-U is currently planned to depart NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. However, as reported by Florida Today, the Space Force 45th Weather Squadron has predicted only a 30% chance of launch-favorable conditions during the two-hour window starting at 5:16 p.m. EDT.

    SpaceX reportedly now has more than 6,100 operational Starlink satellites in its network. As reported by ABC news affiliate WLOS on Sunday, debris from SpaceX aircraft have been falling into the homes and yards of North Carolina residents, some of which have been too large to be removed by hand. NASA officials advised anyone who finds space debris on their property not to handle or retrieve it — but to contact the SpaceX Debris Hotline at 1-866-623-0234.

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