SpaceX launches 20 Starlink satellites on Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Station

A stack of SpaceX Starlink satellites, which included the first six featuring Direct to Cell capabilities. The batch launched on the Starlink 7-9 mission, which lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Jan. 2, 2024. Image: SpaceX

Update 12:09 a.m. EDT: SpaceX launches the Starlink 9-1 mission.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday evening, following the scrub of a planned mission for satellite communications company, SES, from Florida. SpaceX sent another batch of its Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit, which included another 13 with direct to cell (DTC) capabilities.

Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California happened at 8:40 p.m. PDT (11:40 p.m. EDT, 0340 UTC). This marked the 20th orbital launch from California in 2024 so far.

The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, tail number B1082 in the SpaceX fleet, launched for a fifth time. It previously supported the launches of the United States Space Force-62 (USSF-62) mission and three Starlink flights.

A little more than eight minutes after liftoff, B1082 is set to land on the SpaceX droneship, ‘Of Course I Still Love You.’ It marked the 93rd booster landing on OCISLY and the 319th overall booster landing.

Despite an unusually long period without launches (between June 8 and June 18), SpaceX is still confident that it will hit or exceed its orbital launch goals this year.

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Jon Edwards, SpaceX’s vice president of Falcon Launch Vehicles, said “We still have a good shot at 148. In fact, we may even try to do a few more this year.”