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SpaceX Falcon 9 launches 56 Starlink satellites

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches 56 Starlink satellites

Taking off at 11:35 a.m. ET (15:35 UTC) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, Falcon 9 successfully deployed 56 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit.

Originally scheduled to launch at 9:56 a.m., a storm in the area caused SpaceX to slightly delay the launch in view of the weather.


This batch of Starlinks was launched at a 43-degree orbital inclination to the southeast. The satellites were deployed from the second stage approximately 1 hour 5 minutes after launch, with the completion of Starlink missions 5–12, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites in orbit to 4,698.

This comes just 1 day after the launch of 47 Starlink satellites from California. These 103 Version 1.5 Starlink satellites will now undergo checkout as they use their onboard thrusters to propel themselves into their operational orbit.

Launching this mission was Falcon 9 booster 1069, which completed its 8th mission after a successful touchdown on the droneship ‘Just Read the Instructions’, which was located at ~640 km downrange.

This booster has now supported the launch of 4 Starlink missions, 3 communications satellite missions and the CRS-24 resupply mission to the International Space Station.

SpaceX also flew two flight-proven fairings on this launch, one half for the 7th launch and the other half for the 10th time, the latter of which is a record for SpaceX in fairing reuse. Each fairing half cost approximately $3 million, so this is a significant savings for the company.

SpaceX has had 43 orbital launches so far this year, on course to beat their record of 61 launches set last year. Of those 43 launches, 41 were Falcon 9 launches, and 2 were Falcon Heavy launches.

Currently the next event for SpaceX is the launch of the Euclid Space Telescope for the European Space Agency, which is scheduled for July 1.

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