SpaceX launches 23 Starlink satellites from Florida (video)

SpaceX launched another batch of its Starlink internet satellites today (May 6), the company's 46th orbital mission of the year already.

A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today at 2:14 p.m. EDT (1814 GMT), carrying 23 Starlink craft toward low Earth orbit (LEO). 

The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth about eight minutes later as planned, touching down on the droneship Just Read the Instructions, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

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

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 23 Starlink satellites from Florida on May 6, 2024. (Image credit: SpaceX)

It was the 15th launch and landing for this particular first stage, according to a SpaceX mission description. That's five shy of the company's reuse record, which is held by three different boosters.

The Falcon 9's upper stage, meanwhile, continued powering its way to LEO, where it will deploy the 23 Starlink satellites about 65 minutes after liftoff.

The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket comes in for a landing on a ship at sea shortly after launching 23 Starlink satellites from Florida on May 6, 2024. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Today's launch was the 46th orbital liftoff of the year already for SpaceX, and the 31st of 2024 devoted to building out the Starlink broadband megaconstellation. That network already consists of more than 5,800 functional satellites, and it will continue growing far into the future.

More spaceflight action is on tap tonight: Boeing's Starliner capsule is scheduled to launch astronauts for the first time ever, on the company's Crew Flight Test to the International Space Station for NASA. Liftoff is scheduled for 10:34 p.m. EDT (0234 GMT on May 7); you can watch it live here at, courtesy of NASA.

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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.