SpaceX launches 54 Starlink satellites after weather delays

TEHRAN, Sep. 19 (MNA) – SpaceX launched 54 Starlink broadband satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida Sunday (Sept. 18) at 8:18 p.m. EDT (0018 GMT on Sept. 19) after five consecutive days of bad-weather scrubs.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the Starlink Group 4-34 satellites into low Earth orbit, deploying them as planned about 15.5 minutes after liftoff. Before that happened, however, the rocket's first stage came back to Earth and landed on SpaceX's Just Read the Instructions droneship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast. It was the sixth launch and landing for this particular booster, SpaceX wrote in a mission description.

Starlink is SpaceX's constellation of broadband satellites. The company has lofted more than 3,200 of the satellites into orbit so far. SpaceX is rapidly expanding the constellation, with launches happening pretty much every week — and sometimes more often than that.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently said he hopes to launch up to 100 SpaceX missions in 2023. The goal is, in part, to ramp up Starlink service as fast as possible for the remote customers that the company wants to serve.

SpaceX already has regulatory approval to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites. The company has also applied to an international regulator to send another 30,000 of the satellites into orbit.


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