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SpaceX launching 23 satellites from Florida today on 1st leg of Starlink doubleheader

SpaceX is set to launch another batch of its Starlink internet satellites from Florida today (May 8), on the first leg of a planned spaceflight doubleheader for the company.

A Falcon 9 rocket topped with 23 Starlink craft is scheduled to lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida today, during a nearly four-hour window that opens at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).

SpaceX will stream the launch live via its X account. Coverage will begin about five minutes before the window opens.

Related: Starlink satellite train: How to see and track it in the night sky

If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth about eight minutes later, touching down on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

It will be the 3rd launch and landing for this particular first stage, according to a SpaceX mission description. The booster also has one Starlink mission and the Crew-8 astronaut launch under its belt.

The Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, will continue carrying the Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit, where they will be deployed about 65 minutes after liftoff.

SpaceX has already launched 46 orbital missions in 2024, and 31 of them have been devoted to building out the Starlink broadband megaconstellation.

And there will be not one but two Starlink launches today, if all goes according to plan: SpaceX intends to launch 20 more Starlink satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California tonight, during a nearly three-hour window that opens at 10:48 p.m. EDT (0248 GMT on May 9).

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