In the early hours of June 12, SpaceX achieved yet another milestone in its ambitious space mission. A Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, carrying 52 Starlink satellites. This is part of SpaceX’s ongoing endeavour to create a global satellite internet constellation, bringing high-speed connectivity to remote areas of the world.
SpaceX successfully launched 52 Starlink satellites into orbit on June 12, 2023, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. This mission marked SpaceX’s 40th launch of the year and brought the total number of Starlink satellites to 4,595. The Falcon 9 rocket safely returned to Earth, landing on the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions”. Another Falcon 9 launch is scheduled later in the day from California, carrying 72 small spacecraft.
The Countdown and Launch:
The night was still as the clock ticked down to 3:10 a.m. EDT. At Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40, the Falcon 9 rocket awaited its momentous journey. As the engines ignited, the rocket soared through the night sky, embarking on SpaceX’s 40th launch this year.
The Starlink Mission:
Aboard the Falcon 9 were 52 precious Starlink satellites. Their mission: to join thousands of their brethren already in space, forming a constellation to provide high-speed internet across the globe. This mission, Starlink 5-11, continues SpaceX’s effort to democratize internet access, especially in remote areas.
Precision and Reusability:
Around eight-and-a-half minutes after liftoff, two braking burns slowed down the Falcon 9, which then landed precisely on the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” situated 400 miles downrange. This was the ninth journey to space for this booster, B1073, showcasing SpaceX’s commitment to reusability and sustainability.
Later the same day, another Falcon 9 was being prepped for liftoff at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, to launch 72 small spacecraft into polar orbit for a variety of customers. This marks SpaceX’s eighth small satellite rideshare mission.