SpaceX launches Starlink satellites early Sunday
Orlando Sentinel February 12, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — SpaceX sent up its eighth mission from the Space Coast early Sunday with another batch of Starlink satellites.
A Falcon 9 with 55 of the internet satellites lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 at 12:10 a.m.
The booster made its 12th flight for the company making a successful return landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean.
It was the 74th Starlink launch overall since the first operational deployment of the internet satellites in 2019. SpaceX has sent up nearly 4,000 of the 570-pound satellites, according to statistics tracked by astronomer Jonathan McDowell. The Federal Communications Commission recently upped SpaceX’s license to allow for up to 7,500.
All eight of the Space Coast launches this year so far have been from SpaceX, which has also flown two missions from California on its way to what Elon Musk said could be 100 flights for the company for 2023.
The Space Coast alone had 57 orbital launches in 2023 among all companies, and is forecast to see between 86 and 92 liftoffs in 2023. The majority of those will be from SpaceX, but United Launch Alliance has several missions slated including the first launch of its new Vulcan Centaur rocket that arrived to Florida in January. Also expected in the coming months is the first-ever launch for Relativity Space, which is expected to perform the first test fire of its 3D-print Terran 1 rocket soon,
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