SpaceX reaches its 175th Falcon 9 flight from Cape Canaveral with Monday evening Starlink mission

A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on the Starlink 6-46 mission on Monday, March 25. This marked the 175th launch from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Image: Michael Cain/Spaceflight Now

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Monday evening with 23 Starlink satellites on board. This mission marked the 175th flight for SpaceX from its workhorse pad to date.

Liftoff of the Starlink 6-46 mission occurred at 7:42 p.m. EDT (2342 UTC) from Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40). This was also the 20th mission launching from Florida in 2024.

The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, tail number B1078 in the SpaceX fleet, launched for an eighth time. It previously launched NASA’s Crew-6 mission, SES’ O3b mPOWER 3 &4 satellites, the USSF-124 mission and four Starlink flights.

About eight-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, B1078 landed on the SpaceX droneship, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas.’ This was the 62nd landing on ASOG and the 228th booster landing to date.

A view of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket moments after it jettisoned its payload fairings from the upper stage. The post-sunset launch offered a so-called ‘jellyfish effect’ as the plume was illuminated by the setting sun. Image: Michael Cain/Spaceflight Now

SpaceX’s Starlink constellation will expand to 5,680 satellites on orbit, according to numbers tracked by Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist and astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. More than 6,000 Starlink satellites have launched to date.

Earlier in the day down in Texas, SpaceX also performed a static fire test of Ship 29, the upper stage vehicle that will be used during the fourth integrated flight test (IFT-4) of its Starship rocket.