SpaceX Completes 300th Falcon Booster Landing During Starlink Mission – Spaceflight Now

On April 23, 2024, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 on mission Starlink 6-53. Image: Adam Bernstein/Space Travel Now

Update 7:32 pm EDT: SpaceX confirmed the deployment of 23 Starlink satellites.

SpaceX completed the Falcon 9 launch, marked by the company's 300th booster landing to date. The Starlink 6-53 mission will mark the 30th orbital launch from Florida in 2024.

Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is at 6:17 PM EDT (2217 UTC). The 45th Weather Service has forecast a greater than 95 percent chance of favorable weather for takeoff.

The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting the mission, tail number B1078, made its ninth launch on this flight. It previously sent NASA's Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station, USSF-124 and five Starlink flights.

About eight and a half minutes later, B1078 landed aboard the SpaceX drone, saying, 'Read the instructions.' It was the 300th Falcon booster landing overall, the 79th for JRTI and the 233rd droneship landing to date.

The 23 Starlink satellites in the mission add to the total of 5,851 satellites currently in orbit, says Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer and expert orbital observer. Prior to this mission, 610 Starlink satellites were launched into low Earth orbit over 27 missions in 2024. The separation of satellites is expected to fly for one hour and five minutes.

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