SpaceX just set a new launch record.
The company sent 21 Starlink internet satellites into orbit tonight (Sept. 3) aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 10:47 p.m. EDT (0247 GMT on Sept. 4).
It was SpaceX’s 62nd orbital mission of 2023, setting a new record for most flights in a single year. according to Company founder and CEO Elon Musk. The old sign is set in 2022.
Related: Starlink space train: How to see and track it in the night sky
Great job @SpaceX team successfully flying 61 Falcon missions this year! If tomorrow’s mission goes well, we’ll surpass last year’s trips. SpaceX has delivered nearly 80% of Earth’s total payload mass to orbit in 2023. China accounts for about 10% and the rest of the world about 10%.September 2, 2023
The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket has returned to Earth as planned tonight. The plane landed about 8.5 minutes after takeoff aboard the Just Read the Instructions drone ship, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
This was the tenth launch and landing of this particular booster, according to A SpaceX mission description.
Meanwhile, the Falcon 9 upper stage continued to fly. 21 Starlink satellites are scheduled to be deployed into low Earth orbit (LEO) about 65 minutes after liftoff.
The launch was part of a big day for SpaceX. The company will also bring back the four astronauts from the Crew-6 mission, who have been on the International Space Station (ISS) since March.
Crew-6’s Crew Dragon capsule, named Endeavor, left the International Space Station shortly after 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT) today. It will fall into the ocean off the coast of Florida at around 12:17 AM EDT (0417 GMT). You can watch the feat here on Space.com when the time comes.
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