A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. This launch marked the fifth flight for the first stage booster used in the mission, which had previously been used in other missions including Crew-6, SES O3b mPOWER, and two earlier Starlink missions.
This launch was the 65th of the year for SpaceX. The liftoff, originally scheduled for Thursday night, was postponed and took place late Friday. Backup launch opportunities had been set for early and late Saturday as well.
The Falcon 9 first stage successfully landed on SpaceX’s drone ship, named “Just Read the Instructions,” in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 8 minutes after liftoff.
The Starlink satellites are part of SpaceX’s ambitious plan to create a global satellite internet constellation that will provide internet access even in remote locations around the world. SpaceX has approval to deploy 12,000 Starlink satellites and has requested clearance for an additional 30,000.
According to SpaceX, Starlink satellites offer high-speed broadband access with relatively low latency compared to other satellite internet services, and the service is commercially available. In fact, on August 27, SpaceX launched its 5,000th Starlink satellite into orbit, following a similar launch of 22 satellites on the same night.
With the successful launch of these additional Starlink satellites, SpaceX continues to expand its satellite internet network and bring connectivity to areas where traditional internet infrastructure is challenging to deploy.