SpaceX Launches 20 Starlink Satellites: Breaking Records and Building the Future

Cape Canaveral, Florida – SpaceX successfully launched a new batch of Starlink internet satellites early Wednesday morning following a brief delay. The Falcon 9 rocket, carrying 20 Starlink spacecraft, including 13 with direct-to-cell capabilities, lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 4:55 a.m. EDT. The launch was initially delayed due to technical issues, but the rocket took off within the three-hour window that opened at 2:57 a.m. EDT.

The Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth around eight minutes after launch, landing on the droneship named “A Shortfall of Gravitas” in the Atlantic Ocean. This launch marks the 16th launch and landing for this specific booster, with ten of its previous flights dedicated to Starlink missions.

The upper stage of the Falcon 9 continued to carry the 20 satellites into low Earth orbit, where they were deployed approximately 61 minutes after liftoff. These satellites aim to enhance global internet coverage, with 13 of them equipped with direct-to-cell capabilities to serve as additional cell towers in space.

Wednesday’s launch represents the 67th Falcon 9 mission of 2024, with the majority of this year’s missions focused on expanding the Starlink megaconstellation. Currently, the Starlink network comprises over 6,150 operational satellites orbiting the Earth.

In addition to the Falcon 9 missions, SpaceX has also completed one launch of its powerful Falcon Heavy rocket and two test flights of the Starship spacecraft. The company continues to push boundaries in space exploration and technology, with plans to establish a presence on the moon and Mars in the future.