SpaceX wraps up Starlink launches for July

Starlink: Across a body of water, a white and black rocket launches into a blue sky, above billowing clouds of smoke.
SpaceX’s Starlink Group 5-12 launched on June 23, 2023. Image via SpaceX.

Successful Starlink launches in July 2023

Starlink Group 6-7: July 27, 2023, 12:01 a.m. EDT (4:01 UTC on July 28)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 6-6: July 23, 2023, 8:50 p.m. EDT (0:50 UTC on July 24)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 6-15: July 19, 2023, 9:09 p.m. PDT (4:09 UTC on July 20)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, California | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 5-15: July 15, 2023, 11:50 p.m. EDT (3:50 UTC on July 16)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 6-5: July 9, 2023, 11:58 p.m. EDT (3:58 UTC)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 5-13: July 7, 2023, 12:29 p.m. PDT (19:29 UTC)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, California | SUCCESS

You can watch a recorded livestream of the Starlink launches on SpaceX’s YouTube channel.

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.

Growing numbers amid controversy

According to Wikipedia, as of May 2023, Starlink consists of over 4,000 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit that communicate with designated ground transceivers. They provide internet access to more than 1.5 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.

Most 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’s sixth and final Starlink launch for the month took flight from Florida at 4:01 UTC on July 28, 2023.

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

Via Space Launch Schedule

July 31, 2023

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