A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 22 Starlink satellites from Florida’s Space Coast on Friday evening (September 29) and landed on a ship at sea.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today at 10:00 PM EDT (0200 GMT on September 30).
The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage returned to Earth for a vertical landing on a SpaceX drone ship at sea about 8.5 minutes after launch, as planned.
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This was the 10th takeoff and landing of the Falcon 9 first stage, according to A SpaceX mission description. The company’s record for reusing rockets is 17 flights, carried by two different boosters.
Meanwhile, the 22 Starlink satellites were deployed from the Falcon 9 rocket’s upper stage into low Earth orbit (LEO) about 65 minutes after launch.
Friday’s mission was SpaceX’s 69th orbital launch in 2023. About 60% of those flights were dedicated to building out the company’s Starlink network.
The huge constellation currently consists of Nearly 4,800 satellites are operationalThe number will continue to grow in the future. SpaceX has permission to deploy 12,000 vehicles in low Earth orbit and has applied for approval to deploy another 30,000 vehicles as well.