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SpaceX launches 23 Starlink Internet satellites after aborted mission
File image by C&J Images.
SpaceX launches 23 Starlink Internet satellites after aborted mission
by Sheri Walsh
Washington DC (UPI) Oct 30, 2023

SpaceX launched 23 Starlink Internet satellites into low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Monday in its second attempt after aborting the mission Sunday.

The successful second launch attempt was the eighth flight for the first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched Crew-5, GPS III Space Vehicle 06, Immarsat I6-F2, CRS-28, Intelsat G-27, and two Starlink missions.

"Liftoff!" SpaceX announced shortly after 7:20 p.m. EDT in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

SpaceX aborted its first launch attempt 30 seconds before liftoff Sunday, after detecting an issue with the Falcon 9 rocket's stage separation system.

"Go for launch," mission control said Monday under clear Florida skies, announcing "30 seconds," then "15 seconds" before the final countdown.

Falcon 9's first stage landing on the "Just Read the Instructions" drone ship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, took place less than 9 minutes after Monday's liftoff at 7:29 p.m. EDT.

A camera on the exterior of the rocket showed the various stages of the launch. The 23 Starlink satellites deployed from the Falcon 9's upper stage into low Earth orbit at about 65 minutes after liftoff.

To date, SpaceX has launched more than 5,000 Starlink satellites. The aerospace company, owned by billionaire Elon Musk, received federal approval last year to launch 7,500 satellites to expand Internet services around the world.

Monday's launch was the 90th orbital mission for SpaceX in the last 365 days. The company hopes to make 100 flights by the end of this year and boost that number to 144 launches in 2024.

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