SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to launch 23 Starlink satellites from Florida – Spaceflight Now


A Falcon 9 stands ready for a Starlink mission at Cape Canaveral’s pad 40. File photo: Adam Bernstein/Spaceflight Now.

SpaceX is gearing up for the first of two Starlink missions from Florida, as Boeing gets ready for the first piloted launch of its Starliner capsule. A Falcon 9 rocket will launch from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Monday, followed by another on Tuesday from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

Liftoff on Monday is scheduled for 12:36 p.m. EDT (1636 UTC). Meteorologists at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station say there is a 90-percent chance of acceptable conditions for launch, with a small risk of cumulus cloud development being the only concern.

Spaceflight Now will have live coverage with commentary starting about an hour before launch.

The Falcon 9 first stage assigned to the Starlink 6-57 mission will be making its 15th flight. The booster, which has the tail number 1069, first flew in December 2021 on a cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station. In addition to making 10 previous Starlink deliveries, it launched the Hotbird 13F and SES 18 and 19 telecommunications satellites and a batch of satellites for OneWeb’s high speed internet service. It most recently flew a month ago on Apr. 5 for the Starlink 6-47 mission.

The Falcon 9 first stage will land on the drone ship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ about eight and half minutes into the flight. The ocean going landing platform will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas. Two burns of the rocket’s second stage will put the 23 second-generation Starlink satellites into orbit, with deployment occurring about one hour, five minutes after launch.

A second Starlink delivery mission is scheduled for Tuesday from launch complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. A four hour launch window opens at 11:08 a.m. EDT (1508 UTC).

SpaceX says it has signed up over two million subscribers in more than 60 countries for its Starlink internet service. Since 2019 it has launched 6,327 satellites according to statistics compiled by Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who maintains a space flight database. Of those satellites 5,913 remain in orbit and 5,841 appear to be working normally based on data compiled on May 5.

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