The company SpaceX successfully completed a rocket landing at sea while also launching 52 more Starlink broadband satellites into orbit on Saturday, September 24.
In Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 52 Starlink spacecraft launched on Saturday at 7:32 p.m. EDT (2332 GMT).
After a precise touchdown on SpaceX’s “droneship” A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was positioned in the Atlantic Ocean, the Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth just under nine minutes later. According to a SpaceX mission description, it was the fourth launch and landing for this specific booster
52 Starlinks were successfully released by the Falcon 9’s upper stage 15.5 minutes after liftoff, according to Twitter confirmation from SpaceX. (opens in new tab).
The development of SpaceX’s Starlink megaconstellation, which offers internet connectivity to people all around the world, continued with Saturday’s flight. Nearly 3,400 Starlink satellites have already been launched by the business, and thousands more are planned.
Starlink Version 2 satellites, which will be significantly larger and more powerful than the present generation, will start being launched by SpaceX starting in 2019. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, revealed last month that V2 spacecraft will be able to beam connectivity directly to smartphones through a project called “Coverage Above and Beyond” for T-Mobile subscribers.
If all goes according to plan, SpaceX will launch Starlink V2 batches on its massive, next-generation Starship craft, which will also transport supplies and people to the moon and Mars. According to Musk, the first orbital test flight of Starship is “very likely” to take place in November.
The launch on Saturday was SpaceX’s 43rd orbital mission of 2022, breaking the company’s previous record for liftoffs in a calendar year. The previous record for launches by SpaceX was 31, which was attained in 2021.
Note from the editor: This story was updated on September 24 at 7:55 p.m. EDT with information regarding a successful launch, rocket landing, and satellite deployment.