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SpaceX launches Starlink, Sarah-2 missions
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SpaceX launches Starlink, Sarah-2 missions
by Adam Schrader
Washington DC (UPI) Dec 25, 2021

Elon Musk's SpaceX launched two rockets on Saturday and Sunday, one carrying Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit and another with two radar reconnaissance satellites for the German military.

SpaceX on Sunday launched the Sarah-2 mission carrying the German satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 8:11 a.m. EST. The flight had been delayed from Saturday to allow for additional preflight checks.

The first stage landed on Landing Zone 4 less than eight minutes later with the deployment of the satellites confirmed later in the morning.

"It is a wonderful and relieving feeling to know that the two satellites are safely in orbit after all the hard work," German aerospace company OHB SE, the company behind the satellites, said in a statement.

"The fact that we were able to experience this special moment today is a team effort and became possible thanks to the entire Sarah team and the supporting colleagues from OHB."

Sarah, stylized as SARah, is the successor mission to the SAR-Lupe system, the first military satellites for Germany.

SpaceX on Saturday launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The launch occurred around 12:33 a.m. and the deployment of the satellites was confirmed around 1:38 a.m.

This was the 19th flight for the first stage booster supporting this mission. It previously launched 14 other Starlink missions, as well as Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-11, CRS-21, Transporter-1 and Transporter-3.

SpaceX continues to build its constellation of satellites despite growing concerns. Earlier this year, it was reported that SpaceX satellites have been forced to move more than 50,000 times to prevent collisions since 2019 and the Federal Aviation Administration has warned of falling debris danger.

Astronomers have also warned of the growing problem of light pollution affecting their research.

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