SpaceX launches 22 Starlink satellites on record-breaking 19th mission

SpaceX has launched another batch of 22 Starlink satellites on Thursday night, February 22, 2024, at 11:11 p.m. EST (04:11 UTC on February 23).

A Falcon 9 rocket of SpaceX has carried these Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California to low-Earth orbit.

Watch the launch of this mission if you missed it:

This was the 19th flight for the first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched Crew-1, Crew-2, SXM-8, CRS-23, IXPE, Transporter-4, Transporter-5, Globalstar FM15, ISI EROS C-3, Korea 425, and now nine Starlink missions, according to the statement from SpaceX.

The first stage booster is the reusable part of the Falcon 9 rocket. After stage separation, the first stage booster came back to Earth and landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which was stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

The 19th flight of this particular Falcon 9 first stage booster rocket marks the highest number of rocket reused for the company.

Only the second stage (upper stage) of the Falcon 9 rocket carried these satellites to the low-Earth orbit from the stage separation and deployed them about 62 minutes after liftoff.

Deployment of 22 Starlink satellites into orbit on February 22
Deployment of 22 Starlink satellites into orbit. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Know about Starlink satellites 

Starlink is the world’s first and largest satellite constellation, located in the low-Earth orbit, which provides high-speed satellite internet from space to almost anywhere on Earth. Currently, it’s providing satellite internet access to over 71 countries.

See the map where Starlink satellite internet is currently available. 

As of February 23, 2024, SpaceX has launched 5872 Starlink satellites, of which 5480 are in low-Earth orbit and 5442 are in operational state, according to the report in Jonathan’s Space Pages. SpaceX has decided to deploy around 12,000 Starlink satellites in total.

The growing number of Starlink satellites in the low-Earth orbit is currently creating controversy because the bright train of Starlink satellites will interfere with night sky observation from the ground.

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About the Author

Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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