SpaceX launches more Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral

UPI
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 23 of its second generation Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. .Photo by Joe Marino/UPI

Nov. 22 (UPI) -- SpaceX lofted 23 Starlink internet satellites into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Wednesday morning after pushing the launch back twice. This was the third Falcon 9 launch in just over 4 days and the latest in a series of Starlink launches for the company.

The Falcon 9 rocket rumbled into motion from the Cape's Space Complex 40 and lifted off at 2:47 a.m. EST amid a brilliant fiery blaze, riding a column of flame and vapor crackling through the Florida sky en route to space where it will deploy the satellites, each weighing about 573 pounds.

The Falcon 9's first stage returned to Earth for about 8.5 minutes after launch and landed on the recovery vessel named "A Shortfall of Gravitas," which had been deployed in the the Atlantic Ocean.

This mission marked the 15th launch and landing for this reusable booster, according to a SpaceX mission description. That includes six other Starlink flights as well two manned astronaut missions to the International Space Station that launched for NASA in November 2021 and April 2022.

The Starlink satellites were scheduled to be deployed into low Earth orbit an hour and five minutes after lift off.

SpaceX launched 23 satellites from Cape Canaveral early Saturday morning followed by another batch of 22 on Monday morning that were sent up from Vandenberg Air Force base in California.

The previous mission from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral had lifted off just four days earlier making this the ninth fastest turnaround for the launch facility.

The SpaceX mission was originally scheduled for 11:01 p.m. EST on Tuesday night but SpaceX pushed back the launch twice.

It was SpaceX's 87th orbital launch of the year and the 276th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket to date.