April 24, 2024

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SpaceX arrives for its 175th Falcon 9 flight from Cape Canaveral with Starlink mission Monday evening – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX arrives for its 175th Falcon 9 flight from Cape Canaveral with Starlink mission Monday evening – Spaceflight Now

A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on the Starlink 6-46 mission on Monday, March 25. This marks the 175th launch from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Image: Michael Caine/Space Flight Now

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Station on Monday evening, carrying 23 Starlink satellites. This mission marks SpaceX's 175th flight from its work platform to date.

The Starlink 6-46 mission was launched at 7:42 PM EDT (2342 UTC) from Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40). This was also the twentieth mission to launch from Florida in 2024.

The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, SpaceX fleet number B1078, was launched for the eighth time. It has previously launched NASA's Crew-6 mission, NASA's O3b mPOWER 3 & 4 satellites, the USSF-124 mission and four Starlink flights.

About eight and a half minutes after liftoff, B1078 touched down on the SpaceX drone, dubbed “A Shortfall of Gravitas.” This was the 62nd landing on ASOG and the 228th booster landing to date.

A view of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket moments after it jettisoned its payload load from the upper stage. Launching after sunset introduced the so-called “jellyfish effect” as the plume was illuminated by the setting sun. Image: Michael Caine/Space Flight Now

SpaceX's Starlink constellation will expand to 5,680 satellites in orbit, according to numbers tracked by Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist and astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. More than 6,000 Starlink satellites have been launched so far.

Earlier in the day in Texas, SpaceX also conducted a static fire test of SpaceX 29, the upper stage vehicle that will be used during the fourth Integrated Flight Test (IFT-4) of the Starship rocket.

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