CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE BASE — Many had hoped to see two launches on Thursday evening, but instead, they may see a double liftoff on Friday as SpaceX launched the Starlink mission first. 

What You Need To Know

At 12:01 a.m. ET, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket sent 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit after it lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Base on Friday, SpaceX stated.

For the Starlink 6-7 mission, the first-stage booster B1062 has 15 successful missions in its resume.

After Falcon 9’s stage separation, the first stage landed on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas that was in the Atlantic Ocean.

Some delays, near-double launches

The Starlink 6-7 mission was originally scheduled to launch on Wednesday evening, along with the SpaceX launch of the JUPITER 3 mission. But weather and launch issues pushed both back to Thursday and then eventually Friday.

Thursday’s Starlink launch window was supposed to open at 10:20 p.m. ET and had additional backup times set for 11:10 p.m. ET, and 12:01 a.m. ET, Friday, which is when it launched.  

The weather was a concern as the 45th Weather Squadron gave a 40% chance of good liftoff conditions for the Starlink mission.

The JUPITER-3 liftoff was supposed to follow the Starlink Thursday mission with a 11:04 p.m. ET launch but it has been moved to Friday at the same time.

About the mission:

The 22 satellites in the Starlink Group 6-7 mission joined the thousands of their mechanical brothers and sisters that are in low-Earth orbit.

The satellites provide internet services, stated Starlink, a company owned and operated by SpaceX.

Before Thursday night's launch, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics’ Dr. Jonathan McDowell recorded the following number of Starlink satellites:

  • 4,519 are in orbit
  • 4,487 in working order
  • 3,768 are operational

Watch the launch