SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellites on Thrice-Flown Rocket, Sticks Landing

Space.com | 5/24/2019 | Amy Lynn Thompson
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX just took a giant leap toward making global internet coverage a reality as its fifth Falcon 9 rocket of the year took flight on Thursday evening (May 23), sending 60 internet-beaming satellites into space.

Following the successful launch, the rocket’s first stage gently touched down on a floating platform at sea, marking the company’s 40th booster recovery. It was the third flight for this particular booster, marking just the second time SpaceX has flown a Falcon 9 first stage more than twice.

Time - Charm - SpaceX - Falcon - Pm

The third time was a charm for SpaceX as the Falcon 9 lifted off at 10:30 p.m. EDT (0230 GMT on May 24) from Space Launch Complex 40 at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here, following several delays: first a 24-hour delay due to high upper-level winds on May 15, and then a weeklong delay so SpaceX could give the onboard satellites a software software upgrade.

Tucked inside the rocket's nose cone were 60 satellites — the first batch of SpaceX’s Starlink megaconstellation, which the company hopes will help provide affordable internet coverage to the world.

Evolution - SpaceX - Rockets - Pictures

Related: See the Evolution of SpaceX's Rockets in Pictures

A thrice-flown SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the company's first 60 Starlink satellites into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on May 23, 2019.

Look - SpaceX - Starlink - Satellites - Sardines

A look at SpaceX's 60 Starlink satellites packed like sardines in the Falcon 9 rocket payload fairing ahead of a May 23, 2019 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soars to space on its third flight, this one to launch the company's first 60 Starlink internet communications satellites, on May 23, 2019.

SpaceX - Starlink - Satellites - Space - Time

SpaceX's first operational Starlink satellites are seen in space for the first time after Falcon 9 payload fairing jettison following launch on May 23, 2019.

The reentry burn...
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