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SpaceX launch marks 40th for the Space Coast

Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

SpaceX sent up the 40th rocket launch from the Space Coast on Tuesday morning.

A Falcon 9 carrying 23 Starlink satellites lifted off at 10:24 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40. The launch was delayed from Monday, but SpaceX did not give a reason for why they stood down from that attempt.

The first-stage booster made its 10th flight with a bullseye recovery landing downrange on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas stationed in the Atlantic.

SpaceX has managed 38 of the 40 launches from either Canaveral or neighboring Kennedy Space Center this year, and plans are to turn around launch pads even quicker in the second half of the year so the Space Coast could top 100 launches for the 2024.

This was SpaceX’s eighth launch from the Space Coast for May.

All of SpaceX’s launches so far have been Falcon 9 launches, but the first Falcon Heavy launch of the year is slated to fly on June 25 carrying the GOES-U weather satellite for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


United Launch Alliance flew the other two Space Coast launches with the first ever Vulcan Centaur launch in January and the final Delta IV Heavy launch in April.

ULA has its third different rocket of the year, though, set to launch this Saturday when an Atlas V topped with Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner aims to lift off with NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams on a trip to the International Space Station.

The mission has been delayed nearly a month as NASA, Boeing and ULA dealt with hardware issues on both the rocket and the spacecraft.

If teams give the green light later this week, liftoff for the Crew Flight Test mission is targeting 12:25 p.m. from Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41.


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