SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Launched 23 Starlink Satellites to LEO Tonight

Post-launch, SpaceX successfully accomplished its 300th Falcon booster landing.

(Cape Canaveral, Florida) SpaceX launched 23 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit this evening (April 23) at 6.17pm EST from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

IMG_6335 copy.jpg

Photo of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch of 23 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit (LEO) tonight (April 23), courtesy of spaceflight photographer John Kraus on Twitter, SpaceX.

The Falcon 9’s first stage came back to Earth for a vertical landing about 8.5 minutes after launch as planned, touching down on the SpaceX drone ship Just Read the Instructions, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, according to Space.com.

The Falcon 9’s subsequent first stage landing marked SpaceX’s 300th Falcon booster landing ever, according to acclaimed spaceflight photographer John Kraus on Twitter, @johnkrausphotos.

Per Space.com, this evening's launch was the 41st of the year for SpaceX, and the 28th of 2024 dedicated to building out the ever-growing Starlink megaconstellation. There are nearly 5,800 operational Starlink satellites in LEO at the moment, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell, per Space.com.

Newsfeed: Thursday, May 30, 2024