A SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket took off at 16.20 HB from Cape Canaveral in Florida (southeast of the USA), with 53 Starlink satellites on board, each weighing about 260 kg.
The first stage returned to Earth about nine minutes later and landed on the Just Read The Instructions platform, which was sailing off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean.
It was the thirteenth flight for this stage, which constitutes a record – before a likely final launch – according to the specialist site space.com.
About a quarter of an hour after liftoff, the second stage of the Falcon-9 rocket released 53 satellites from the constellation deployed to provide high-speed Internet service anywhere on the planet — but especially in less densely populated areas without Internet access.
According to Starlink, 858 of these craft have already been launched. To achieve its commercial goals, SpaceX plans to have 12,000 satellites by around 2025 and eventually 42,000.
Sunday’s launch was the 31st of the year for SpaceX, including eighteen for Starlink. It was also the 165th of a Falcon-9 rocket — a reusable launch pad to cut costs — since 2010.