SpaceX Falcon 9 launches 56 Starlink satellites

Falcon 9 launching from Space Launch Complex 40 (Credit Richard Angle)

Lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 11:35 a.m. ET (15:35 UTC), a Falcon 9 successfully deployed 56 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit.

Originally scheduled to launch at 9:56 a.m., thunderstorms in the area forced SpaceX to delay the launch just a bit to find a window in the weather.

This batch of Starlinks was launched to the Southeast at a 43-degree orbital inclination. The satellites were deployed from the 2nd stage approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes after launch, with the completion of the Starlink 5-12 mission, this brings the total number of Starlink satellites in orbit to 4,698. This comes just 1 day after launching 47 Starlink satellites from California. These 103 version 1.5 Starlink satellites will now undergo checkouts as they use their onboard thrusters to raise themselves to their operational orbit.

The Falcon 9 launching this mission was Booster 1069, which completed its 8th mission following a successful touchdown on the droneship ‘Just Read the Instructions,’ which was located ~640 km downrange. This booster has now supported the launches of 4 Starlink missions, 3 communications satellite missions, and the CRS-24 resupply mission to the International Space Station.

SpaceX also flew two flight-proven fairings on this launch, with one half launching for the 7th time and the other half for the 10th, the latter of which is a record for SpaceX in fairing reuse. Each fairing half cost approximately $3 million, so this is a significant savings for the company.

That’s now 43 orbital launches for SpaceX for the year so far, well on pace to break their record of 61 launches that was set last year. Of those 43 launches,  41 were Falcon 9 launches, and 2 were Falcon Heavy launches.

Currently scheduled next for SpaceX is the launch of the Euclid Space Telescope for the European Space Agency no earlier than July 1st.

Catch the replay of today’s launch below!

Questions or comments? Shoot me an email at, or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches 56 Starlink satellites
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