SpaceX launches 23 Starlink satellites amidst major Solar storm

SpaceX successfully launched another 23 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit on Sunday evening from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The launch took place at 8:53 pm ET while Earth was in the crosshairs of a major Solar storm.

This storm caused Aurora to be seen as far South as the launch site itself, an incredibly rare occurrence.

In the past, launches were delayed during significant Solar events, which could affect electronics on board orbiting spacecraft and create more drag around them, which could cause them to de-orbit before entering a higher, more stable orbit.

Despite the intense storm, SpaceX reported that all of its satellites weathered the storm perfectly, including the 23 Starlink satellites launched last night. These satellites will now begin the usual post-launch checkouts as they slowly raise themselves to their operational orbit.

This most recent batch was Starlink Group 6-58, which was launched into a 43-degree orbital inclination and deployed just over an hour after lift-off.

As for the Falcon 9 that launched this mission, that fell to Booster 1073, which completed its 15th flight to space and back, landing on the droneship ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ and in a bit of a change, the SpaceX stream of the mission on X included audio of the Falcon 9 landing under the power of a single Merlin 1D engine, perhaps testing the ability to stream more bandwidth intense data from remote locations using Starlink.

B1073 has now launched the CRS-27 ISS resupply mission, one Bandwagon rideshare mission, the Japanese Hakuto-R Moon lander, two communications satellites, and 10 Starlink missions.

This most recent launch’s success, even during a major Solar storm, showcases the robustness of the Starlink satellites. Even if it had affected them, they would be in proper orbits to de-orbit safely and not become space junk orbiting around Earth at high altitudes.

Next up for SpaceX is another Starlink launch from California, currently no earlier than Tuesday at 9:29 am PT.

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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