SpaceX expanded its collection of low-Earth orbit satellites on Saturday by launching 53 Starlink satellites from Florida.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 7:19 a.m. EDT and deployed satellites about 16 minutes after launch.
The reusable first stage of the rocket, which has been used for multiple launches, including the first manned test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, has successfully returned and landed aboard the “Just Read the Instructions” drone in the Atlantic Ocean. .
Starlink is a global, satellite-based internet system that SpaceX has built for years to provide internet access to underserved regions of the world.
Earlier this week, SpaceX launched four astronauts to the International Space Station, including the 600th person to reach space in 60 years.
It took the flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center 21 hours to reach the shimmering site.
The astronauts became emotional when they first discovered the space station from a distance of 20 miles (32 kilometers), calling it a “pretty amazing sight.”
Three astronauts welcomed the crew instead of the favorite seven.
That’s because SpaceX brought back four of them on Monday, after the launch of their replacements was delayed.
The new crew will spend the next six months on the space station, and during that time, they will host two groups of visiting tourists.
Russia will launch the first set in December and SpaceX the second in February.
SpaceX aims to launch a night crew; sick astronaut now ok
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