SpaceX launched 56 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit this morning from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with the Falcon 9 rocket successfully deploying all 56 first-gen Starlink satellites, marking yet another significant milestone for the company.
With this launch, SpaceX now has over 4,000 Starlink satellites orbiting the Earth, making it the largest constellation of internet satellites in the world. In what has become routine for SpaceX, the Falcon 9’s first stage booster successfully landed on the ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ droneship.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship pic.twitter.com/EutLNuLDDe
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 4, 2023
SpaceX’s Starlink constellation has grown significantly since its the first deployment in 2019, and today’s launch brings the current total to 4,023 Starlinks in low-Earth orbit. However, not all of the satellites remain in orbit, with some being decommissioned or experiencing technical issues, according to NASASpaceFlight.
Despite being the largest satellite constellation, it is not even close to being complete, with the company still waiting for approval to deploy the remaining 22,488 next-gen satellites it hopes to launch. The Federal Communications Commission has so far granted permission to deploy 4,408 Ku-band satellites and 7,500 V-band Gen2 satellites.
Today’s mission was also notable in that it was SpaceX’s 30th launch of the year, putting the company on track to surpass its 61 missions from last year. However, the company is still below CEO Elon Musk’s stated goal of 100 launches for the year.