23 Starlink Satellites are Being Launched by SpaceX Today from Florida

All going well, SpaceX is scheduled to launch a new batch of its Starlink internet satellites into orbit today, April 23.

Today, at 6:17 p.m. EDT (2217 GMT), a three-hour window will open for the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink spacecraft from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Live coverage of the launch will be available on SpaceX’s X account; coverage will start approximately five minutes before to the window opening.

About 8.5 minutes after launch, if all goes as planned, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will return to Earth for a vertical landing. It will land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship from SpaceX, which will be based in the Atlantic Ocean.

As stated in a SpaceX mission description, this will be the booster’s seventh launch and landing. Starlink missions accounted for five of its eight previous liftoffs.

The 23 Starlink satellites will be launched into low Earth orbit (LEO) by the Falcon 9’s upper stage today, and they will be in orbit for roughly 65 minutes.

The launch this evening will mark SpaceX’s 41st of the year and the 28th of 2024, which is devoted to expanding the massive and constantly expanding Starlink megaconstellation. According to astronomer and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell, there are currently about 5,800 active Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit.

The Starlink launch may be the second half of a doubleheader event in spaceflight: Two satellites, including a NASA solar-sailing technology demonstrator, are scheduled to be launched by a Rocket Lab Electron spacecraft tonight from New Zealand during an hour-long window that begins at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT).