SpaceX launch recap: Starlink 6-49 mission Friday night from Cape Canaveral, Florida

Launch recap:  Scroll down for live coverage of the Friday, April 12, liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Launch Complex 40.

SpaceX launched another batch of Starlink satellites to orbit. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Launch Complex 40 occurred at 9:40 p.m.

The 45th Weather Squadron gave some good news in their forecast Thursday, saying that the chance of a weather violation during the launch window is low. They forecasted more than 95% favorable weather conditions for launch.

This was the 20th flight for this first stage booster, which previously supported missions such as Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to space, and AX-1, the first fully private orbital space mission. The booster landed out on a droneship, A Shortfall of Gravitas, in the Atlantic Ocean, therefore sonic booms were not heard in Central Florida.

The Space Coast had a bright night show as the rocket soared up over the Atlantic Ocean on a southeastern trajectory. It was hard to miss, as any rocket in the night sky on the Space Coast is a bright sight.

The Starlink 6-49 mission is just as the name suggests: the 49th launch of the group 6 Starlink satellites.

Countdown Timer

SpaceX Falcon 9 booster lands

Update 9:48 p.m.: The Falcon 9 first-stage booster just landed aboard SpaceX's drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas out on the Atlantic Ocean, completing its 20th mission.


Update 9:40 p.m.: SpaceX has just launched the Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX launch webcast begins

Update 9:35 p.m.: SpaceX's launch webcast hosted on X (formerly Twitter) is now posted above, right below the countdown clock.

Liftoff is scheduled in five minutes from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

We are 10 minutes from tonight’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch!

Update 9:30 p.m.: T-10 minutes! Head outside if you plan on catching this launch! If you have clear skies, it will be hard to miss the bright rocket rising into the sky.

Simply look towards the direction South of Kennedy Space Center from your direction.

Tonight's SpaceX Starlink launch closes out an eventful week!

Update 9:20 p.m.: With the solar eclipse on Monday, and the final Delta IV Heavy launch on Tuesday, it has been an eventful week for the FLORIDA TODAY space team!

Here are some reactions to people seeing Delta IV Heavy launch for (their) first and final time.

SpaceX Falcon 9 fueling now underway

Update 9:09 p.m.: Visual cues indicate Falcon 9 fueling procedures are now underway at Launch Complex 40, and SpaceX has confirmed.

That means tonight’s Starlink mission is now locked in to lift off at 9:40 p.m. without any countdown delays, or else the launch must be postponed.

If for any reason there is a delay, the next launch opportunity begins tomorrow night at 9:04 p.m. EDT.

SpaceX Falcon 9 NEW T-0

Update 8:54 p.m.: SpaceX has announced a new lift-off time. Starlink 6-49 is now set to lift-off at 9:40 p.m..

If for any reason there is a delay, the next launch opportunity begins tomorrow night at 9:04 p.m. EDT.

SpaceX launch countdown timeline

Update 8:40 p.m.: Here's a behind-the-scenes rundown of SpaceX’s countdown timeline as we move towards launch.


  • 38 minutes: SpaceX launch director verifies “go” for propellant load.

  • 35 minutes: Rocket-grade kerosene and first-stage liquid oxygen loading begins.

  • 16 minutes: Second-stage liquid oxygen loading begins.

  • 7 minutes: Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch.

  • 1 minute: Command flight computer begins final prelaunch checks; propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins.

  • 45 seconds: SpaceX launch director verifies “go” for launch.

  • 3 seconds: Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start.

  • 0 seconds: Liftoff.

SpaceX Falcon 9 booster slated to fly 20th mission

Update 8:30 p.m.: Tonight's mission will mark the 20th flight for this Falcon 9 first-stage booster, SpaceX reported.

The well-traveled booster previously launched memorable crewed missions Inspiration4 and Axiom 1.

SpaceX launch preparations underway in Brevard

Update 8:20 p.m.: Brevard County Emergency Management officials have already activated the agency's launch operations support team ahead of SpaceX’s upcoming Falcon 9 launch.

SpaceX rocket launch occurs on significant date

Update 8:10 p.m.: We are one hour and 12 minutes from tonight’s launch.

Even though there are no humans onboard this launch, today just happens to be two anniversaries in human spaceflight:

  • Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to reach space on April 12, 1961.

  • 20 years later, on April 12, 1981, the first U.S. Space Shuttle took off from Florida.

A beautiful night for a SpaceX falcon 9 launch

Update 7:55 p.m.: Following a beautiful day on the Space Coast, those out and about are in for a show, as SpaceX plans to launch another batch of Starlink satellites at 9:22 p.m. EDT.

Tonight’s launch will be landing on drone ship, A Shortfall of Gravitas, in the Atlantic Ocean. Sonic booms are not expected, so no need to be bracing for a loud noise if you live near the coast.

The 45th Weather Squadron calls for greater than 95% favorable conditions for tonight’s launch window, which runs until 12:48 a.m. EDT.

Brooke Edwards is a Space Reporter for Florida Today. Contact her at or on X: @brookeofstars.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: SpaceX Recap: Starlink 6-49 Falcon 9 launch at Cape Canaveral