SpaceX achieved another milestone as it successfully deployed 22 additional Starlink internet satellites late Friday night. The launch, which took place at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, was initially delayed due to adverse weather conditions but proceeded after a 24-hour postponement.
Safety was a top priority for SpaceX, and the decision to delay the launch was made to ensure the recovery of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage. The rocket successfully returned to Earth and landed on the SpaceX droneship “Just Read the Instructions,” making it the fifth successful launch and landing for this particular booster.
The delay was influenced by SpaceX’s careful monitoring of Hurricane Lee’s impact on the recovery zone. The 22 Starlink satellites will disperse from the Falcon 9’s upper stage approximately 65 minutes after the launch.
This launch marks SpaceX’s 64th orbital mission in 2023, showcasing a year of remarkable achievements. A significant focus has been placed on advancing the Starlink mega constellation, which currently consists of over 4,700 operational satellites.
With each launch, SpaceX continues to break records for the highest number of liftoffs within a single year. This surpasses the previous record of 61 set in 2022. The successful deployment of these additional satellites not only solidifies SpaceX’s position as a leading force in space technology but also brings humanity closer to a more interconnected and accessible internet infrastructure.
SpaceX’s dedication to innovation and its commitment to expanding internet connectivity through the Starlink project have propelled the company to new heights in the space industry.