The SpaceX Falcon9 with its Starlink-9 payload, containing 58 Starlink and 3 Planet's SkySat satellites, was launched into Earth orbit on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at 5:21 EDT (9:21 UTC) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Planet's SkySats, deployed 14 mins after launch, are imaging satellites that are placed in a 400 km orbit to produce images of the Earth in high definition resolution of less than 20 inches (50 centimetres). They join 15 other satellites already deployed in polar orbit. The designer and operator of the SkySats is the American company Planet Labs, which specialises in nano-satellites and CubeSats.
Picture of a SkySat with engineers at Planet Labs.
The 58 Starlink satellites, deployed 59 minutes after launch, returned to their parking orbit before being placed into an operational orbit at an altitude of 550 km. To date, the Starlink project has 538 satellites out of the 12,000 planned for 2025. Stage 1 of the Falcon 9 landed on the droneship ("I still love you"), a few minutes after separation.
Review the launch of the Falcon 9 Starlink-9 mission:
William Mahe (WM), books and news author, passionate about the Universe, Science and technologies, university graduate from the Paris - Meudon Observatory in Astronomy and Celestial Mechanic. President of the SPETspace STEAM Society and Publishing Director of the SPETspace News. He is also a Harley Davidson and Honda motorcycles lover.