SpaceX launches 12th mission of the month

SpaceX launched its 12th mission of the month on Sunday, sending 23 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit.

The 23 Starlink satellites started their journey to orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 6:08 pm ET and were successfully deployed just over an hour later.

This was the 2nd month in a row that SpaceX was able to launch 12 missions as they continue to fine-tune its turnaround times, with droneships now staying in Port Canaveral for ~12 hours between returning a Falcon 9 and setting back off to recover another.

With this launch, SpaceX has launched 6,304 total Starlink satellites, 5,228 of which are active, according to Jonathan McDowell’s Starlink tracking website. There are currently 1,791 active Gen 2 mini Starlink satellites.

This mission was Group 6-54, with Booster 1076 sending the 23 satellites to space. B1076 has now launched 13 times, previously launching six Starlink missions, a Cargo Dragon resupply mission, a batch of OneWeb internet satellites, and 4 telecommunication satellite missions. This booster was last launched 29 days before this mission as SpaceX continues to turn around boosters at a quicker pace.

These Starlink satellites were inserted into the same 43-degree orbital inclination as prior Group 6 missions and will undergo the normal checkouts as they move to their operational orbit.

B1076 made a smooth landing on the droneship “Just Read the Instructions” just short of eight and a half minutes after lift-off.

SpaceX has launched 43 times so far this year, and it is on pace to achieve its 148-launch goal in one year.

Next up for the company is the launch of 2 Earth observation satellites from California no earlier than May 2nd at 2:30 pm PT, followed by a Starlink launch later in the evening from Florida.

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

Richard Angle: Launch journalist, specializing in launch photography. Based on the Space Coast, a short drive from Cape Canaveral and the SpaceX launch pads.
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