CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION — In the last Florida launch of the year, SpaceX sent up more than 50 Starlink satellites early Wednesday morning.
What You Need To Know
- More than 50 Starlink satellites were launched
- 🔻Scroll down to watch the launch🔻
Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/1U2u912GNq— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 28, 2022
The company’s Falcon 9 rocket sent up a batch of Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
The launch window was supposed to open at 4:40 a.m. EST, but the launch happened at around 4:34 a.m. EST.
On Tuesday, the 45th Weather Squadron gave a 90% chance of good launch weather, as the rocket sent up 54 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit.
The first-stage booster B1062 has been on many missions, such as:
Although SpaceX stated the booster has been used for only four previous Starlink missions in its press release, Spectrum News 13 has counted five using different sources that track SpaceX first-stage boosters.
Spectrum News 13 reached out to SpaceX for clarification. While the news station did not hear back from SpaceX, the company tweeted that the first-stage booster had previously been on 10 missions, including five Starlink ones.
Once the first-stage separation was completed, it landed on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas that was in the Atlantic Ocean.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship pic.twitter.com/hjvWIY9cZ3— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 28, 2022
About the mission
The satellites will deliver internet access to most parts of the planet, stated Starlink, which is operated by SpaceX.
What is different about this Starlink mission is an upgraded network.
“This launch marks the first of Starlink’s upgraded network. Under our new license, we are now able to deploy satellites to new orbits that will add even more capacity to the network,” SpaceX stated.
This will mean that the company can add more customers and have faster service, it stated.
Before Wednesday’s launch, astronomer Jonathan McDowell of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics recorded the following information on the current Starlink satellites: 3,321 are in orbit, with 3,284 working and 3,039 are operational.
Wednesday's launch marks the 34th Starlink mission of the year and the 60th launch for SpaceX. That nearly doubles the company’s 2021′s record of 31 launches.
SpaceX CEO and co-founder Elon Musk has stated a goal for next year, of 100 launches for the company.
In Space View Park in Titusville, space fans were out to watch the liftoff. Spectators far and wide came to witness the launch, like Jaiden Suratwala from New York.
“The rocket go in the air but make the … like, you can actually see the rocket. I just want to see the rocket. I don’t wanna see the fire,” the young boy said. “We live in part of the space and this is the only planet with life so if a rocket went up to space, there would be no air!"
Reporter Ashleigh Mills contributed to this story.