SpaceX launches back-to-back Starlink missions

SpaceX completed two successful launches of Starlink satellites this past weekend.

The two launches took place yesterday evening, just over five hours apart, from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and Space Launch Complex-4E in California.

The 46 Starlinks sent to orbit yesterday represent the 23rd and 24th missions of the year so far for SpaceX and already the 5th mission of the month.

The Falcon 9, which carried 23 Starlink satellites to orbit from Florida, launched them to the Southeast into a 42-degree orbital inclination to continue the build-out of the Group 6 constellation, with this batch being dubbed Group 6-43. The satellites deployed just over an hour after lift-off.

This Falcon 9, designated B1077, launched and landed for the 11th time, previously launching 40 days ago. The Falcon 9 landed on the droneship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ about eight and a half minutes after launch. The fairings were also re-used on this mission; both halves protected the USSF-124 mission just 25 days ago and marked the fastest turnaround time for fairing re-use.

Just over 5 hours later, Falcon 9 B1063 successfully completed its 17th mission. B1063’s last mission was 47 days ago. The Falcon 9 made a soft landing on the droneship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ just over 8 minutes after launching away from the Californian coastline.

The 23 Starlink satellites on this mission were the Group 7-17 batch and launched into a 53-degree orbital inclination. SpaceX recently began adding additional Starlink satellites to missions thanks to further refinement in Falcon 9’s performance.

The 53-degree orbital inclination Starlink missions have been exclusive to launching from California, but thanks to a new agreement with the Bahamian government, those missions will now also be possible to lift off from Florida, allowing SpaceX to increase their launch cadence even further.

Coming up next for SpaceX is the return of Crew 7 to Earth following a nearly 6 month stay aboard the International Space Station. Crew 7 has already undocked from the ISS, and the splashdown of Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled for tomorrow, March 12th.

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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