February 25, 2024

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral – Spaceflight Now

Update: SpaceX launches the Falcon 9 rocket at 11:20 PM EDT (0420 UTC). The missile landed about 8.5 minutes later.

The next batch of Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s satellite internet service flew aboard a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit Monday night from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Liftoff took place at 11:20 PM EDT (0420 UTC). Meteorologists with the 45th Weather Squadron predicted good weather for launch with a 90 percent chance of acceptable conditions when the launch window opened.

The first stage booster flying on this mission, numbered 1062, made its 17th flight. It has previously supported two crewed missions with the Ax-1 private astronaut mission to the International Space Station as well as the Inspiration4 mission.

The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket landed on the “just read the instructions” drone ship about eight and a half minutes after launch. The unmanned vehicle, a converted ocean barge, is one of three operated by SpaceX and will be based about 420 miles (620 km) east of the Bahamas. The two halves of the payload parachuted a little further down where they were picked up by SpaceX’s support ship “Bob.”

A file photo of SpaceX’s Starlink V2 Mini satellites inside the payload processing facility at Cape Canaveral earlier this year. Credit: SpaceX

If all goes according to plan, Starlink satellites from the Falcon 9 second stage will be deployed just over an hour into the mission. The successful flight will bring the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 5,514.

Starlink 6-30 in numbers

This will be:

  • Starlink’s 57th mission of 2023
  • 277 Falcon 9 launches to date
  • Launch of the 83rd Falcon 9 rocket in 2023
  • SpaceX’s 87th orbital launch in 2023
  • SpaceX’s 94th orbital launch in the last 365 days
  • SpaceX’s 157th orbital launch from pad 40
  • Mass orbital launch No. 212 from pad 40
  • Sixty-sixth orbital launch from Cape Canaveral
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