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HomescienceSpaceX Falcon 9 launches 22 Starlink satellites from California - Spaceflight Now

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches 22 Starlink satellites from California – Spaceflight Now


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A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California carrying 22 Starlink satellites on November 20, 2023. Image: Space

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from the West Coast with another group of 22 Starlink satellites at 2:30 a.m. PT on Monday (5:30 a.m. EDT/1030 UTC).

On the 55th Starlink delivery mission of the year, the Falcon 9 rocket headed southeast after liftoff from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, aiming for an inclined orbit of 183 by 178 miles (295 by 286 km). At 53 degrees to the equator.

This was the second time SpaceX refueled a Falcon 9 rocket. Early Sunday morning, the Falcon 9 rocket’s countdown stopped just minutes before the end of the hour. SpaceX said it “stopped” in a social media post about seven minutes after the planned liftoff time. He did not provide a reason for the aborted launch attempt. The Starlink 7-7 mission has already been postponed by one day. This latest attempt has been repeatedly postponed from the original launch time of 10:33 PM PT and is now targeting the final launch opportunity of the night.

The first stage booster, on its 15th flight, has previously launched the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, DART, Transporter-7, Iridium OneWeb, and NASA’s Tranche 0B missions. In addition to nine previous Starlink delivery missions. After completing its burn, the first stage landed aboard the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship stationed about 400 miles (644 km) in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.

SpaceX B1063 first stage booster after landing on the drone ship at the conclusion of its 15th flight. Image: SpaceX.

If all goes according to plan, 22 V2 Mini Starlink satellites will be deployed just over an hour after launch. The V2 Mini model was introduced earlier this year and is much larger than the V1.5 satellites. The latest models, equipped with upgraded antennas and larger solar panels, can deliver four times the bandwidth of previous satellites.

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SpaceX recently announced that it has signed up more than two million subscribers in more than 60 countries for its Starlink internet service. Since 2019, it has launched 5,445 satellites, according to statistics compiled by Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which keeps a record Spaceflight database. Of those satellites, 5,078 satellites are still in orbit, and 5,041 satellites appear to be operating normally.

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