SpaceX accomplished a successful late-night launch of more than 20 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The Falcon 9 rocket, named B1073 for the Starlink 6-27 mission, took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at 12:05 a.m. ET on Wednesday. Despite concerns about the cumulus cloud rule, the 45th Weather Squadron predicted a less than 96% chance of favorable liftoff conditions.
Once the stage separation occurred, the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster was expected to land on the droneship named Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean. This particular booster has previously completed 10 successful launches prior to this mission. The 23 Starlink satellites are intended to join thousands of others in low-Earth orbit to support global internet service. SpaceX is the company behind the Starlink initiative.
Before the launch, Dr. Jonathan McDowell from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics provided some details about the Starlink satellite constellation. He reported that there are currently 5,034 satellites in orbit, with 5,005 of them in working order. The operational orbit consists of 4,423 satellites.
The successful launch adds to SpaceX’s growing Starlink constellation and brings the total number of operational satellites to support internet connectivity even higher. SpaceX has been working diligently to expand its Starlink network and improve global internet coverage, especially in remote and underserved areas. With each successful launch, the company comes closer to realizing its vision of providing high-speed, reliable internet access to people around the world.