In a late-night launch on Saturday, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carried a payload of 22 Starlink internet satellites into orbit. The launch occurred at 11:38 P.M. from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, U.S.A.
The information was confirmed by SpaceX’s official Twitter account, @SpaceX, and the company’s website, Spacex.com. According to the tweet, the rocket’s first stage made a successful landing on SpaceX’s “Just Read the Instruction” droneship, marking the 17th successful liftoff and landing for Falcon 9’s first stage.
“Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instruction droneship, the second booster in our fleet with 17 launches and landings,” the tweet stated.
The first stage of the rocket touched down on the “Just Read the Instruction” droneship, positioned in the Atlantic Ocean, just 8.5 minutes after liftoff, as reported by Space.com.
With this launch, the Falcon 9 first stage tied SpaceX’s reuse record, matching the achievement set by a different Falcon 9 rocket just four days earlier during another Starlink satellite launch. This means SpaceX now has two boosters with 17 successful launches and landings.
About 65 minutes after liftoff, the 22 Starlink satellites on Falcon 9’s upper stage were successfully deployed into orbit, according to Space.com.
- Starlink’s operational constellation currently comprises over 4,750 satellites.
- SpaceX has obtained approval to launch an additional 12,000 Starlink satellites.
- The company has applied for permission to launch an additional 30,000 Starlink satellites.
- Starlink is SpaceX’s megaconstellation providing high-speed internet to over 2 million active customers in more than 60 countries.