Update: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket at 11:20 p.m. EST (0420 UTC). The booster landed about 8.5 minutes later.
The next batch of Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s space-based internet service flew aboard a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit Monday night from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Liftoff occurred at 11:20 p.m. EST (0420 UTC). Meteorologists with the 45th Weather Squadron predicted good weather for launch with a 90-percent chance of acceptable conditions at the opening of the launch window.
The first stage booster flying on this mission, tail number 1062, made its 17th flight. It previously supported two crewed missions with the Ax-1 private astronaut mission to the International Space Station as well as the Inspiration4 mission.
The Falcon 9 first stage landed on the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” about eight and a half minutes after launch. The droneship, a converted ocean-going barge, is one of three operated by SpaceX and will be stationed about 420 miles (620km) downrange, East of the Bahamas. The two halves of the payload fairing parachuted to a splashdown a little further downrange where they were scooped up by SpaceX’s support vessel “Bob”.
File photo of SpaceX’s Starlink V2 Mini satellites inside a payload processing facility at Cape Canaveral earlier this year. Credit: SpaceX
If all goes according to plan the Starlink satellites will be deployed from the second-stage of the Falcon 9 a little over an hour into the mission. A successful flight will bring the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 5,514.
Starlink 6-30 by the numbers
This will be the:
57th Starlink mission of 2023
277th Falcon 9 launch to date
83rd Falcon 9 launch of 2023
87th SpaceX orbital launch of 2023
94th SpaceX orbital launch in the last 365 days
157th SpaceX orbital launch from pad 40
212nd overall orbital launch from pad 40
66th orbital launch from Cape Canaveral