SpaceX launches Starlink mission on third attempt from Kennedy Space Center

On its third launch attempt, SpaceX was able to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on the Starlink 6-44 mission on March 15, 2024. Image: Pete Carstens/Spaceflight Now

The third time proved to be the charm for SpaceX as it was able to launch a Falcon 9 rocket on the Starlink 6-44 mission Friday night from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. It came following a day of work and checkouts on the transporter erector at the launchpad.

In a statement posted to X (formerly known as Twitter), SpaceX said that they stood down from a Thursday night launch attempt “to allow teams to work through an issue with the transporter erector’s cradle arms.”

Liftoff from Launch Complex 39A happened at 8:21 p.m. ET on Wednesday (0021 UTC). The mission sent another 23 satellites to low Earth orbit, which pushes the total Starlink satellites launched to date to more than 6,000.

The first stage booster supporting this mission, B1062, launched for a 19th time, tying it as the flight leader alongside B1058 and B1061. B1058 was destroyed during its voyage back to Port Canaveral.

B1062 previously launched two GPS satellites; Inspiration4 and the Ax-1 crewed flights; and 11 Starlink missions among its previous 18 launches.

About 8.5 minutes after liftoff, B1062 landed on the SpaceX droneship, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas.’ This was the 61st landing on ASOG as well as the 284th SpaceX booster landing to date.

This was SpaceX’s 26th launch in 2024, including 25 Falcon 9 rockets and one Starship launch. This was also the 50th orbital launch globally this year.