A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 21 Starlink internet satellites into orbit from California early Saturday morning (October 21).
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Saturday at 4:23 a.m. EDT (0823 GMT; 1:23 a.m. local time in California).
The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage returned safely to Earth as planned, landing at sea on SpaceX’s “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship about 8.5 minutes after launch.
Related: Starlink Space Train: How to See and Track It in the Night Sky
This was the 16th flight of the first stage of this particular rocket, according to SpaceX Task description. This is lower than the company’s reuse record, which was set last month.
Meanwhile, 21 Starlink satellites were deployed on schedule from the Falcon 9 rocket’s upper stage about 62.5 minutes after launch, SpaceX confirmed in a report. Share on X (formerly known as Twitter).
This launch was SpaceX’s 75th orbital mission in 2023. The company aims to launch 100 flights by the end of this year and 144 flights in 2024.
About 60% of this year’s flights are dedicated to building Starlink, SpaceX’s massive internet constellation. Starlink currently consists of approx 4900 operational satellitesThis number will continue to grow in the future.
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