SpaceX launches 56 Starlink satellites early Sunday (Image Credit: Space Daily)
SpaceX launches 56 Starlink satellites early Sunday
by Charles Briggs
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) May 14, 2023
On Sunday, May 14, at 01:03 EDT (05:03 UTC), SpaceX launched an additional batch of 56 Starlink internet communication satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
About 50% of all successful orbital launches so far this year have been conducted by SpaceX. The 56 Starlink satellites will equal the four Falcon 9 missions with a full load of Starlink spacecraft to tie the record for the largest payload ever launched by a SpaceX rocket. SpaceX will have launched 4,447 Starlink satellites into orbit after the Starlink 5-9 mission.
The satellites will be deployed into an orbit with a 43-degree inclination to the equator and an altitude of between 185 and 211 miles (298 and 340 kilometers).
The 56 Starlink spacecraft will detach from the launch vehicle, unfold their solar arrays, and go through automated activation procedures before using their krypton-fueled ion engines to navigate into their operational orbit, which is 329 miles (530 kilometers) above Earth.
This mission marks the 201st straight successful mission of SpaceX’s Falcon rocket family.