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Elon Musk’s SpaceX, in its 70th mission of 2023, launches 22 Starlink satellites – Times of India



NEW DELHI: In the company’s 70th orbital mission of the year, Elon Musk-led SpaceX on Thursday launched 22 more of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit.
According to Space.com, the Starlink spacecraft lifted off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station tonight at 1:36 am EDT (0536 GMT). The rocket had originally been targeted to launch on Wednesday at 10:45 pm EDT (0245 GMT on Oct. 5), but was delayed several hours by poor weather conditions.
In a recent space mission, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket returned to Earth, landing vertically on the SpaceX drone ship named “Just Read the Instructions” approximately 8.5 minutes following its launch.
This marked the eighth successful liftoff and landing for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, with four of its prior seven launches dedicated to deploying Starlink satellite batches.
The mission involved the deployment of 22 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), scheduled to take place approximately 65 minutes after liftoff.
This morning’s flight was a significant milestone for SpaceX in 2023, marking their 70th orbital mission for the year. The majority of these missions have been devoted to expanding the ever-growing Starlink mega constellation, which currently comprises over 4,800 operational satellites.
Notably, the Falcon 9 rocket has played a pivotal role in SpaceX’s orbital endeavours this year, accounting for 66 of the company’s missions. However, there is a forthcoming addition to this figure: A Falcon Heavy launch is slated to carry out NASA‘s Psyche asteroid mission on October 12.
In addition to its efforts, SpaceX also made strides in deep-space exploration this year with a test flight of its innovative Starship deep-space transportation system. While this mission did not aim to place a payload into orbit, it faced challenges and concluded prematurely, just four minutes after liftoff, due to technical difficulties.





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