SpaceX Expands Booster Fleet with Successful Starlink 4–15 Mission Launch

SpaceX expands its booster fleet with Starlink 4-15 mission
Falcon Heavy missions haven’t been flown for about three years because the Falcon 9 has taken over many of the Falcon Heavy missions. There will be a few more Falcon Heavy missions this year …)

SpaceX has also increased the Falcon 9’s capacity. SpaceX has changed some timings in flight, such as igniting MVac engines a few second earlier than other missions. They are also separating the fairing nearer to the stage separation to reduce dead weight sooner in the flight.

SpaceX also loads propellants onto the Falcon 9 rocket at a slightly lower temperature than usual to increase the number of Starlink satellites that it can launch into orbit.

SpaceX launched its 20th Falcon 9 rocket this year, carrying a group of Starlink satellites into Low Earth Orbit. The mission was part of Starlink Group 4-15. Liftoff took place on Saturday, May 14, at 4:40pm EDT (20:40 UTC) at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

This mission’s Falcon 9 was particularly interesting as it used a brand new booster called B1073-1. It had never been seen before on a Starlink flight.

Before liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket carried out its 35-minute automated launch countdown. MECO (Main Engine Cutoff) occurred two and a quarter minutes after liftoff, followed by stage separation and MVac. The fairing halves separate approximately 5 seconds following MVac ignition.