SpaceX Starlink launches for February

Starlink launches in February 2023

Starlink Group 6-1: February 27, 2023, 23:13 UTC (6:13 p.m. EST)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 2-5: February 17, 2023, 19:12 UTC (11:12 a.m. PST)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, California | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 5-4: February 12, 2023, 5:10 UTC (12:10 a.m. EST)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 5-3: February 2, 2023, 7:58 UTC (2:58 a.m. EST)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Kennedy Space Center, Florida | SUCCESS

Last chance to get a moon phase calendar! Only a few left.

After launch, look for a train of lights

Following every Starlink launch, the internet buzzes with people asking:

What’s that long line of lights in the sky that looks like a train?

What you’re seeing is the Starlink satellites moving into a higher orbit. You can check to see if they will pass over your area using the Find Starlink website.

Starlink launches: A slender rocket lifts on a pillar of flame into a gray sky with a white sun casting rays of light behind it.
The Starlink launch on January 31, 2023. Image via SpaceX.

Growing numbers amid controversy

According to Wikipedia, as of February 2023, Starlink consists of over 3,580 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit that communicate with designated ground transceivers. They provide internet access to more than 1 million subscribers.

Love ’em or hate ’em, these Starlink satellites are part of SpaceX’s vision for a global internet communication satellite constellation. They deliver high-speed internet service worldwide, mainly to locations where ground-based internet is unreliable, unavailable or expensive. The private company is well-known for launching batches back-to-back several times a month, regularly lofting 60 satellites at a time. And SpaceX plans to build up to perhaps as many as 30,000 eventually.

Many thought it was exciting to see the first few Starlink satellites traveling together in the night sky. But then more were launched, and then more. And astronomers began to worry.

Because Starlinks are bright, astronomers say they’re photobombing astronomical images. Therefore, they have the potential to interfere with the professional astronomical observations that have brought us our modern-day view of the cosmos. And although SpaceX has tried to address the issue, they remain far from what astronomers say is acceptable.

Bottom line: SpaceX completed four Starlink launches for the month of February 2023.

Read more from EarthSky: Starlink satellites can look like a plume or train of light

Read more: How satellites harm astronomy: what’s being done

Via Space Launch Schedule

February 27, 2023

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