SpaceX Launched 23 Starlink Satellites to Orbit & Starlink Internet Service in Fiji Yesterday

Last night’s Starlink 6-62 launch, the second of yesterday's SpaceX mission doubleheader, marked SpaceX’s 53rd orbital launch of 2024.

(Cape Canaveral, Florida) Last night (Wednesday, May 22nd) at 10:35 p.m. ET (14.35 GMT), SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched 23 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit (LEO) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida via its Starlink 6-62 mission, completing a ‘doubleheader’ after the company’s early morning launch of its NROL-146 mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California; SpaceX Founder and Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk also announced the launch of Starlink high-speed internet service in Fiji yesterday via his X account, @elonmusk.

johnkrausstwitter copy - 11w.jpg

Photo of last night's Starlink 6-62 launch courtesy of spaceflight photographer John Kraus on X, @johnkrausphotos.

Last night’s launch, which marked SpaceX’s 53rd orbital launch thus far in 2024, marked the 16th flight for the first stage booster supporting the mission, which previously launched NROL-87, NROL-85, SARah-1, SWOT, Transporter-8, Transporter-9, and nine Starlink missions, according to SpaceX.

Per Space.com, Falcon 9's first stage returned to Earth about eight minutes after launch, touching down on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The Falcon 9’s upper stage carried the 23 Starlink satellites to LEO, where they were set to be deployed about 65 minutes after liftoff.

Prior to the launch, at 9.02pm EST, Musk posted on X via his account, @elonmusk: “Launching @Starlink in Fiji with @PresidentFiji,” alongside a photo of him with President of the Republic of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere, and others.

Twitter - starlink in fiji copy 2 - 11w.jpg

Photo of Elon Musk, President of the Republic of Fiji, His Excellency Ratu Wiliame Maivalili Katonivere and others via a post on Elon Musk's X account, @elonmusk.

In other recent news from SpaceX’s X account, the first video call on X was completed via Starlink Direct to Cell satellites from unmodified mobile phones on May 21st; a post from that day reads, “we’re excited to go live with @TMobile later this year.”

On May 19, @starlink re-posted Musk’s X announcement that Starlink had launched in Indonesia, rendering the internet available across more than Indonesian 17,000 islands.

Per Starlink’s X account, @starlink, SpaceX’s Starlink high-speed internet service currently connects more than three million people across nearly 100 countries, territories and other markets.

More than 6,000 Starlink satellites currently orbit Earth, according to ‘Science girl’s’ X account, @gunsnrosesgirl3; other estimates, including one sourced via Space.com yesterday peg the number of working satellites in the Starlink megaconstellation at about 5,950.

SpaceX's third Falcon 9 launch of this week - carrying another Starlink mission - is currently targeted to lift off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida this evening.

Newsfeed: Monday, June 24, 2024