Late on Saturday night, precisely at 11:38 P.M., SpaceX initiated the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket carrying 22 Starlink internet satellites from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, United States.
This information was sourced from SpaceX’s official Twitter account, @SpaceX, and SpaceX’s website, spacex.com.
22 starlink satellites
According to @SpaceX’s tweet, the rocket’s first stage achieved a successful landing on SpaceX’s “Just Read the Instruction” droneship, marking the 17th successful liftoff and landing for Falcon 9’s first stage.
The first stage of the rocket safely landed on the “Just Read the Instruction” droneship in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 8.5 minutes after liftoff, as reported by Space.com.
With this launch, the Falcon 9 first stage has now matched SpaceX’s record for reuse, which was set just four days earlier by a different Falcon 9 rocket during another Starlink mission. This means SpaceX now possesses two boosters, each with 17 successful launches and landings.
Approximately 65 minutes after liftoff, the 22 Starlink satellites on the Falcon 9’s upper stage were successfully deployed into orbit.
As an interesting side note, the Starlink constellation currently comprises more than 4,750 operational satellites.
SpaceX has received approval to launch an additional 12,000 Starlink satellites and has applied for permission to launch another 30,000.
Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious megaconstellation project that provides high-speed internet services to over 2 million active customers in more than 60 countries.