SpaceX launched 40 high-speed internet communication satellites to a polar low Earth orbit on the OneWeb 17 mission on Thursday. Launching from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, the Falcon 9 lifted off at 2:13 PM EST (19:13 UTC) and marked SpaceX’s 16th orbital launch of 2023–a launch every 4.25 days.
Following the launch, just under 90% (578 of the planned 648) of operational satellites have been launched. The satellites were placed into a ~580 by 600 km orbit, inclined at 86.51 degrees. The satellites will now spend the coming months raising their orbits to the operational 1,200 km circular polar orbit at 86.4 degrees.