Every weekend, a new image makes the news or catches our attention. On July 12, stage B1058 of SpaceX's Falcon 9 launcher returned to port in Port Canaveral, Florida, after its... sixteenth flight.
The American flag and NASA logos affixed to its sides are still present, but less and less visible : it's obviously even more blackened that the B1058 first stage of SpaceX's Falcon 9 appeared on July 12 at the entrance to the port of Port Canaveral, in Florida.
The shot was taken by American photographer Jerry Pike, a FAA certified drone pilot, and shared on Twitter.
Two days earlier, the launcher had blasted off from the nearby Cape Canaveral military base, and successfully completed its... sixteenth mission since May 2020 (launch of the Demo 2 mission to the International Space Station, with American astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken piloting the Crew Dragon capsule for the first time).
The Californian operator's aim is to demonstrate that the first stage of its workhorse can be used and recovered 20 times.
The July 10 mission, the 44th of the year for the Falcon 9, placed into low-Earth orbit lot n°6-5 of " home " Starlink satellites for the global internet (in their 2.1 Mini version).
Six days later, on July 16 at 3:50 UTC, still from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, another Falcon 9 took off, also with a first stage already used 15 times, the B1060, in service since June 2020 (launch of a GPS III navigation satellite on behalf of the US military).
On board this time was the latest batch of Starlink v1.5 satellites, bringing to nearly 4 800 the number of satellites in the constellation deployed since May 2019...
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