One day after SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk, announced that the company’s Starlink high-speed internet system had reached break-even cash flow, a Falcon 9 rocket added 23 new satellites to its growing constellation in low-Earth orbit.
The SpaceX Starlink 6-26 mission saw the rocket launching into the nighttime sky at 8:37 p.m. on a Friday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This launch occurred during the second half of many Brevard County high school soccer games.
Following the separation of its stages, the Falcon 9’s first-stage booster successfully landed on SpaceX’s drone ship “A Shortage of Gravitas” at sea, marking its 18th mission completion.
Elon Musk tweeted, “Excited to announce that @SpaceX @Starlink has achieved breakeven cash flow! Excellent work by a great team.” He also mentioned in the tweet that Starlink is now the majority of all active satellites and will have launched the majority of all satellites from Earth cumulatively by next year.
As of Tuesday, a total of 5,376 Starlink satellites had been launched into low-Earth orbit since 2019, with 4,982 still operational in orbit, according to astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell from the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
The Falcon 9 liftoff on Friday marked the 60th orbital launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Kennedy Space Center this year, surpassing the previous year’s record of 57 launches.
SpaceX is expected to launch more Starlink missions from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the near future, although the exact launch date for the next mission has not been announced.
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