SpaceX expanded its massive and constantly expanding broadband megaconstellation on Sunday, May 12, with the launch of 23 additional Starlink satellites.

At 8:53 p.m., the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida saw the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Starlink spacecraft. May 13, 0053 GMT, is EDT.

After landing on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was positioned in the Atlantic Ocean, the first stage of the Falcon 9 returned to Earth around eight minutes after launch.

A SpaceX mission description states that it was the fifteenth launch and landing for this specific first stage. There have been nine Starlink missions out of its 14 liftoffs thus far.

About 65 minutes after liftoff, the upper stage of the Falcon 9 launched the 23 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO).

With Sunday’s launch, SpaceX has already completed 49 orbital missions by the year 2024. Out of the 48 launches that have occurred this year, thirty-three have been devoted to expanding the Starlink megaconstellation, which presently has 5,900 operational satellites.

That number is expected to rise significantly in the future; SpaceX has been granted authorization to place 12,000 Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit (LEO) and has filed for permission to place an additional 30,000 satellites there.

Topics #23 Starlink #Falcon 9 rocket #Florida #SpaceX