SpaceX launches 22 Starlink satellites after 1-day delay (video)

SpaceX launched 22 more of its Starlink internet satellites late on Friday night (Sept. 15) after a one-day delay.

A Falcon 9 rocket launched the Starlink spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Friday at 11:38 p.m. EDT (0338 GMT on Sept. 16). 

SpaceX had been planning to launch shortly after midnight on Friday, but the weather apparently didn't cooperate, forcing a nearly 24-hour delay.

Related: Starlink satellite train: How to see and track it in the night sky

The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth Friday night as planned. It touched down about 8.5 minutes after liftoff on the SpaceX droneship Just Read the Instructions, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast. 

SpaceX's desire to have calm seas for this recovery operation may be the reason for the delay; the company had said that it was keeping an eye on the effects of Hurricane Lee in the touchdown zone.

It was the fifth launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description

The 22 Starlink satellites, meanwhile, deployed from the Falcon 9's upper stage about 65 minutes after launch as planned.

Friday's launch was SpaceX's 64th orbital mission of 2023. More than half of those flights have been dedicated to building out the company's Starlink megaconstellation, which currently consists of more than 4,700 operational satellites.

Every new SpaceX launch extends the company's record for most liftoffs in a year. The previous mark, 61, was set in 2022.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 14 with news of the 24-hour launch delay, then again at 12:20 a.m. ET on Sept. 16 with news of successful launch and rocket landing, then again at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 18 with news of satellite deploy.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.