SpaceX sends another 23 Starlink satellites to orbit

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SpaceX sent another 23 V2 mini Starlinks to orbit early this morning from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Launching just before dawn, the Falcon 9 roared to life, sending an early wake-up call to residents across the Space Coast.

SpaceX is coming off an incredible first quarter of 2024, which saw them launch an astounding 31 times, including the third Starship test flight. The company is looking to further increase its cadence as it launches more missions in Q2 and refine its turnaround time between launches with everything from launch pad readiness to droneship turnaround time.

This mission, Group 6-47, was launched to the South East with the satellites inserted into the same 43-degree orbital inclination. This could be one of the last Group 6 missions, with SpaceX looking to start launching Group 7 missions from Florida, previously launching only from California.

The deployment of the Starlink satellites occurred just over an hour after lift-off, bringing the total number of Starlinks in orbit to 5,744.

The Falcon 9 that completed this mission was Booster 1069, flying its 14th mission. B1069 has now sent 399 satellites and 1 Cargo Dragon to orbit over its lifetime. The booster last flew 39 days ago and will likely fly its 15th mission next month.

After completing its portion of the flight, the booster landed on the droneship ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ just eight and a half minutes after liftoff. SpaceX will now bring the booster back to Port Canaveral and likely have the droneship back to sea for its next recovery within ~12 hours.

SpaceX has its next mission already set to go later this evening. The first batch of the Group 8 Starlink shell will launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California with a launch window from 7:31 pm PT to 11:25 pm PT. 6 of these satellites will feature Direct Cell capabilities as SpaceX continues testing data connections from cell phones directly to satellites.

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SpaceX sends another 23 Starlink satellites to orbit

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