SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 23 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral

A Falcon 9 heads on a south-easterly trajectory from Cape Canaveral on Nov. 28, 2023, carrying a batch of Starlink satellites into orbit. Image: Pete Carstens.

The next batch of Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s space-based internet service soared into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket Monday night from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Liftoff occurred at 11:20 p.m. EST (0420 UTC) the Falcon 9 piercing a thin layer of cloud as it headed on southerly trajectory as it targeted an orbit inclined at 43 degrees.

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 was 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 to be 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

SpaceX confirmed in a social media post that the 23 Starlink satellites were deployed as planned from the second-stage of the Falcon 9 a little over an hour into the mission. The successful flight will bring the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 5,514.

Starlink 6-30 by the numbers

This was:

  • 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