On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Falcon 9 launched the Eutelsat 10B mission to geosynchronous transfer orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Except that this time, the booster deployed by SpaceX could not land again, due to lack of fuel.
SpaceX sent one of its boosters into the sky for the 11th time on Tuesday night. However, and unlike the previous 10 flights, this time he did not return.
The mission had launched from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, lighting up the night sky as the Falcon 9 rocket roared into space.
A rather ambitious mission
Thirty-five minutes after leaving the launch pad, the second stage of Falcon 9 deployed a communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit for the French satellite operator Eutelsat. The Falcon 9 first-stage booster was SpaceX’s oldest active rocket: it had previously launched Telstar 18V and Iridium-8 missions, as well as nine missions deploying Starlink internet satellites.
SpaceX typically lands Falcon 9 boosters shortly after launch, but since this mission required more power to deploy the 5,444 kg satellite into orbitthere was no not enough fuel to bring back the booster.
To read: SpaceX sets a record for reusing the same Falcon 9 rocket
It was the 52nd mission involving a Falcon 9 rocket in 2022, with 12 more planned before the end of the year. That means 2022 will be SpaceX’s busiest yet, breaking last year’s record of 31 launches.
Earlier this month, SpaceX also launched its more powerful Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time in three years on a mission for the US Space Force. The company is also preparing for the maiden launch of its next-generation Super Heavy rocket, which will become the most powerful rocket ever launched when it lifts off. NASA plans to use the spacecraft section of the vehicle to land the first woman and first person of color with the Artemis III mission, currently scheduled for 2025.