May 23, 2022

Live coverage: SpaceX launches Falcon 9 rocket with 49 Starlink satellites

Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will launch SpaceX’s next batch of 49 Starlink broadband satellites. Text updates will appear automatically below. Follow us on Twitter.

SFN Live

SpaceX Webcast

SpaceX Mission Audio

Keeping up a rapid-fire launch cadence to begin 2022, SpaceX launched launch another Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday night from Kennedy Space Center in Florida with 49 Starlink internet satellites.

Liftoff from pad 39A occurred at 9:02:40 p.m. EST Tuesday (0202:40 GMT Wednesday) to kick off a 15-minute launch sequence before deploying the 49 flat-panel Starlink satellites into orbit.

SpaceX delayed the launch from Monday night to wait for better conditions in the booster recovery zone in the Atlantic Ocean. The mission was again delayed from an earlier launch opportunity at 7:04 p.m. EST Tuesday (0004 GMT Wednesday), without explanation.

You can watch a replay of our live launch coverage on this page.

The 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket arced southeast from Kennedy Space Center to deploy the Starlink payloads into an orbit inclined 53.2 degrees to the equator. The mission aimed to release the Starlink satellites at T+plus 15 minutes, 32 seconds, into an orbit ranging in altitude between 130 miles and 210 miles (210 by 339 kilometers).

This mission, designated Starlink 4-6, was SpaceX’s third Falcon 9 launch of the year. The first stage booster, tail number B1060, made its 10th trip to space and back.

SpaceX’s drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” was on station in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Bahamas for landing of the first stage booster.

Read our mission preview story for details.

ROCKET: Falcon 9 (B1060.10)

PAYLOAD: 49 Starlink satelllites (Starlink 4-6)

LAUNCH SITE: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

LAUNCH DATE: Jan. 18, 2022

LAUNCH TIME: 9:02 p.m. EST (0202 GMT on Jan. 19)

WEATHER FORECAST: Greater than 95% chance of acceptable weather

BOOSTER RECOVERY: “A Shortfall of Gravitas” drone ship north of the Bahamas

LAUNCH AZIMUTH: Southeast

TARGET ORBIT: 210 miles by 130 miles (339 kilometers by 210 kilometers), 53.2 degrees inclination

LAUNCH TIMELINE:

  • T+00:00: Liftoff
  • T+01:12: Maximum aerodynamic pressure (Max-Q)
  • T+02:32: First stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
  • T+02:35: Stage separation
  • T+02:42: Second stage engine ignition
  • T+02:52: Fairing jettison
  • T+06:47: First stage entry burn ignition (three engines)
  • T+07:07: First stage entry burn cutoff
  • T+08:25: First stage landing burn ignition (one engine)
  • T+08:47: First stage landing
  • T+08:50: Second stage engine cutoff (SECO 1)
  • T+15:32: Starlink satellite separation

MISSION STATS:

  • 137th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket since 2010
  • 145th launch of Falcon rocket family since 2006
  • 10th launch of Falcon 9 booster B1060
  • 121st Falcon 9 launch from Florida’s Space Coast
  • 137th launch overall from pad 39A
  • 43rd SpaceX launch overall from pad 39A
  • 81st flight of a reused Falcon 9 booster
  • 35th dedicated Falcon 9 launch with Starlink satellites
  • 3rd Falcon 9 launch of 2022
  • 3rd launch by SpaceX in 2022
  • 3rd orbital launch based out of Cape Canaveral in 2022
Spaceflight Now