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First rocket launch of 2023 brings the boom to Florida's Space Coast

SpaceX Transporter-6
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral, the first launch of 2023 carrying 114 tiny satellites.

The first rocket launch of 2023 is bring the boom — a sonic boom, that is.

SpaceX kicked off the year with the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket at 9:56 a.m. ET carrying more than 100 tiny small satellites into orbit from Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX's Transporter-6 mission lofted 114 payloads on this flight, including CubeSats, microsats, picosats, and orbital transfer vehicles carrying spacecraft to be deployed at a later time.

About 8 minutes after launch, the first stage of the rocket returned to Landing Zone-1 at Cape Canaveral. It's return brought with it a sonic boom.

It was the booster's 15th mission. SpaceX lands its rockets, on either a barge or back at Cape Canaveral, and reuses the boosters to lower the cost of launches.

Last year, SpaceX tallied 61 launches from Florida and California, a record for the company and nearly double the number of launches in 2021.

The company shows now signs of slowing down in 2023, which includes more human launches. SpaceX is set to launch another crew of four to the International Space Station in February. A private spaceflight mission called Polaris Dawn will take flight no earlier than March.

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to Central Florida in 2005 to attend the University of Central Florida. He began working at WMFE as a college intern where he discovered his love for public radio.
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