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Falcon 9 deploys 53 Starlink satellites on SpaceX's 40th launch of the year
Photography by C&J Images for SpaceDaily.com
Falcon 9 deploys 53 Starlink satellites on SpaceX's 40th launch of the year
by Charles Briggs
Space Coast FL (SPX) Jun 12, 2023

A Falcon 9 rocket topped with 53 Starlink spacecraft lifted off in a southeast trajectory from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, at 3:10 a.m. EDT (0710 UTC) Monday.

The mission is called the Starlink Group 5-11 mission, 65 minutes after liftoff, with 53 older-generation Starlink V1.5 satellites deployed in an orbit inclined 43 degrees to the equator over the Western Pacific Ocean.

The first leg of a Monday Falcon 9 doubleheader is the early-morning Starlink liftoff; fourteen hours later, at 5:19 p.m. EDT (2119 UTC), SpaceX also intends to launch the Transporter 8 rideshare mission from California's Vandenberg Space Force Base that will haul different small spacecraft and payloads into a polar orbit for various clients.

The 85th operational Starlink mission, Starlink Group 5-11, will bring the total number of Starlink satellites launched to 4,596, with more than 3,500 still operational.

The booster supporting this mission, B1073, flew and landed for the ninth time. Its landing occurred on the deck of SpaceX's autonomous spaceport drone ship, Just Read the Instructions (JRTI), stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

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