53 SpaceX Satellites launched
On Thursday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 53 Starlink satellites will launch from the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Pat Benic/UPI photo | License Photo
(UPI) — April 21 (UPI) — On Thursday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, bringing another 53 Starlink Internet satellites into orbit. After a 3-hour delay owing to severe winds, the rocket launched at 1:51 p.m. from Launch Complex 40. It was the 43rd launch in the Starlink project’s history. Advertisement
The first-stage booster of the Falcon 9 rocket landed about 10 minutes after liftoff on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship at sea, according to SpaceX. It was the booster’s record-tying 12th launch and landing.
For the 12th occasion, a Falcon 9 rocket was used to launch an earlier round of Starlink satellites into orbit in March.
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Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship, completing this booster’s 12th launch and landing pic.twitter.com/6PV1bFRgar
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 21, 2022
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that the Falcon 9’s second stage released all 53 satellites into an initial parking orbit around one hour after launch.
According to Florida Today, the second-stage booster is expected to re-enter in Port Canaveral.
Since the start of the mega constellation project in 2019, SpaceX has launched over 2,300 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit.
The satellites give Internet connections to over two dozen countries, including Ukraine, which received a shipment of Starlink terminals from SpaceX during the Russian invasion.
According to Space.com, nine of SpaceX’s 15 missions this year have been dedicated to launching Starlink satellites into orbit, and the project’s next iteration might launch up to 30,000 satellites.