ORLANDO, Fla. — SpaceX on Sunday morning launched another batch of 60 Starlink satellites, as part of its long-term mission to deliver fast, affordable internet to the entire planet.
Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center’s 39A launchpad happened at 8:25 a.m. under blue skies. A Falcon 9 rocket carried the small Starlink satellites into orbit.
About eight minutes into the flight, the first stage of the rocket successfully landed on the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” off the coast of Florida. It was the sixth time this stage and the 62nd time any first stage had been recovered.
SpaceX said the satellites successfully deployed a little more than an hour later.
The latest collection of satellites joined the more than 700 already in low Earth orbit. The Elon Musk-led company hopes to have 1,500 in place by the end of the year, and the company expects they will provide coast-to-coast internet coverage for North America.
SpaceX has seen tremendous demand from customers interested in buying the in-home device to connect to the Starlink satellite constellation. It plans to sell about 5 million in the United States.
Revenue from the Starlink system is expected to help SpaceX pay for other missions, including journeys to Mars.
©2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)