Falcon 9 adds 23 satellites to the Starlink network, pushing a total of more than 5,000 satellites into orbit – Spaceflight Now

The Falcon 9 rocket, on its eighth flight, lifts off from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on October 30. Photo: Adam Bernstein/Spaceflight Now.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 additional satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Monday, bringing the total number of Starlinks currently in orbit to more than 5,000. Liftoff took place from pad 40 at 7:20 PM EDT (2320 UTC).

Sunday night, the countdown reached T-30 seconds when the abortion was called. The launch director said that a problem was discovered in the system used to separate the first and second stages of the missile, and the launch was postponed until Monday.

The Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage leaves a stunning plume in the sky as it climbs into orbit. The two separate payload fairing halves can be seen as two bright spots. Image: Michael Caine/Space Flight Now.

After liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off and rolled on a southeast trajectory as it aimed for an orbit inclined at an angle of 43 degrees to the equator.

The first stage booster, which made its eighth flight, successfully landed on the drone ship Just read the instructionsStationed east of the Bahamas, about eight and a half minutes after launch.

The booster, numbered B1077, flew for the first time in October 2022, carrying Crew 5 to the International Space Station aboard the Dragon Endurance. It continued to fly the GPS III F6, Inmarsat I6-F2, CRS-28 and Intelsat G-37 missions, as well as two previous Starlink delivery flights.

The 23 Starlink satellites were deployed into an orbit of 182 x 177 miles (293 x 285 km) 1 hour, 5 minutes and 38 seconds after launch.

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

The mission brought the number of Starlink satellites currently in orbit to 5,011 Statistics compiled by Jonathan McDowell.

Tonight’s launch was SpaceX’s 90th orbital mission in the last 365 days, a launch roughly every four days on average. Company officials said they hope to accelerate the pace of launches and conduct 100 flights in 2023, rising to a total of 144 flights in 2024.

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