Skip to main content

Watch SpaceX’s most recent Starlink mission in just 60 seconds

Highlights from Friday's Falcon 9 launch of 22 @Starlink satellites. SpaceX has delivered more than 900 metric tons to orbit so far this year

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 15, 2023

SpaceX flights using its Falcon 9 booster are so routine now that these days most launches slip by with few people noticing.

But it’s worth remembering how far the private spaceflight company has come since its founding in 2002.

The aim was to build a flight system capable of reusing its main components to help reduce the cost of space missions. This included landing the first-stage rocket booster upright on a floating barge or on land minutes after launch.

The idea sounded fanciful at the time, and indeed the first landings saw the 41.2-meter first stage topple over and explode right after touching down. After achieving its first-ever safe landing of the Falcon 9 first stage in 2015, the SpaceX team has refined the design and now enjoys huge success with its landing system, enabling it to reuse boosters for satellite deployments as well as crew and cargo missions to the International Space Station. It also recovers the rocket’s two fairing halves for use in additional missions.

To date, SpaceX has performed 272 launches, 235 landings, and 207 reflights, with a couple of its Falcon 9 boosters having flown as many as 17 times.

Its latest Falcon 9 launch took place at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Friday evening, sending 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit. Starlink is SpaceX’s internet-from-space service, and the company operates regular Falcon 9 flights to deploy additional Starlink satellites in space.

Friday’s mission was the 14th flight for the first-stage booster, having previously launched CRS-22, Crew-3, Turksat 5B, Crew-4, CRS-25, Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13G, mPOWER-a, PSN SATRIA, and now six Starlink missions.

On Sunday, SpaceX shared a 60-second video (top) showing the key stages of its most recent Falcon 9 mission, including launch, satellite deployment, and of course, the landing of the first-stage booster.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
SpaceX says it could fly Starship on Friday, but it depends on one thing
The Starship, comprising the first-stage Super Heavy and the upper-stage Starship spacecraft, on the launchpad at SpaceX's facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

SpaceX has said it could be in a position to perform the second launch of its next-generation Starship rocket this Friday, though it added that it can only happen once it’s received the nod from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“Starship preparing to launch as early as November 17, pending final regulatory approval," SpaceX said in a recent post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Read more
Watch this unique view of SpaceX’s latest Starship rocket test
SpaceX tests its Starship rocket in a ground-based ignition.

As SpaceX continues to wait for the green light from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the second test flight of its mighty Super Heavy rocket, the company recently conducted a ground-based test fire of the rocket’s upper stage, called Starship.

SpaceX posted footage showing the brief test fire from directly above (bottom video), with one of the Starship’s six Raptor engines powering up for about six seconds.

Read more
NASA calls off Thursday’s launch of Psyche asteroid mission
The Falcon Heavy rocket carrying the Psyche spacecraft.

NASA and SpaceX have called off Thursday’s launch of the Psyche asteroid mission.

Officials blamed the delay on poor weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center launch site in Florida.

Read more