SpaceX launched another batch of its Starlink internet satellites into orbit early Thursday morning (December 7).
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 12:07 a.m. EDT (0507 GMT), SpaceX’s 90th orbital mission of 2023.
Related: Starlink Space Train: How to See and Track It in the Night Sky
Regarding the plan, the first stage of the rocket returned to Earth for a vertical landing about 8.5 minutes after launch. The plane landed on SpaceX’s “Just Read the Instructions” drone, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
This was the ninth launch and landing of this particular booster, according to Task description.
Meanwhile, the 23 Starlink satellites are scheduled to deploy from the Falcon 9 rocket’s upper stage into low Earth orbit about 65 minutes after liftoff.
Starlink is SpaceX’s massive and ever-growing broadband constellation, which brings Internet service to people around the world. The network currently consists of more than 5,100 active satellites, according to the astrophysicist and satellite tracker. Jonathan McDowell.
SpaceX is expanding its flight cadence record with every liftoff these days. The company’s previous annual mark, 61 launches, was set last year. But we should expect more spaceflights next year: SpaceX representatives have said they’re preparing for 144 launches in 2024.
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