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SpaceX launches 34 more Starlink satellites, AST SpaceMobile satellite
by Adam Schrader
Washington DC (UPI) Sep 10, 2021

Elon Musk's SpaceX launched 34 more Starlink satellites with AST SpaceMobile's BlueWalker 3 satellite to low-Earth orbit on Saturday.

The satellites were launched by a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida after targeting a 9:20 p.m. liftoff due to weather.

The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas drone ship positioned in the Atlantic Ocean about eight minutes later, completing the record-breaking 14th flight for a first-stage SpaceX booster.

The Falcon 9's first stage previously launched Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, Transporter-3 and eight Starlink missions.

The BlueWalker 3 satellite was expected to be deployed first before SpaceX added the Starlink satellites to its constellation.

"One of our most complex missions," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter on Friday.

SpaceX has launched more than 3,250 satellites into low-Earth orbit with 2,470 operational, according to an online tracker. The company launched its first 60 satellites in May 2019.

Blue Walker 3 is a test satellite from AST SpaceMobile, which aims to build "the first and only space-based cellular broadband network to be accessible by standard smartphones," according to the company's website.

"Called SpaceMobile, this ultra-powerful network is being designed to provide connectivity at 4G/5G speeds everywhere on the planet -- on land, at sea and in flight," the company said.

AST SpaceMobile is based in Midland, Texas.

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SpaceX wins another $1.4 billion from NASA to fly missions to ISS
Washington DC (UPI) Sep 1, 2021
NASA has awarded five new missions to private exploration company SpaceX in a deal worth $1.4 billion that will transport astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station over the next eight years. The contracts were awarded as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract (CCtCap), an initiative that opens the door for business with the private sector, the space agency said. "The [deal] includes ground, launch, in-orbit, and return and recovery operations, car ... read more

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