CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — On early Wednesday morning, SpaceX sent a batch of Starlink satellites into orbit as the company is picking up the pace of construction of its satellite network. It is the fourth launch in a month.
What You Need To Know
- It is the 4th Starlink satellite mission from Florida in a month
- RELATED: From NASA to Virgin, Race to Space Already Firing Up This Year
- Get more space coverage right here
- Scroll down to re-watch the launch
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 4:28 a.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The company sent another batch of 60 mini satellites into orbit that will join the hundreds already circling the globe. Eventually, the constellation will comprise tens of thousands and will provide broadband internet to underserved areas.
About 10 minutes after liftoff, the nearly 230-foot tall first stage booster came back to Earth after a brief high altitude visit and making a soft landing on the droneship Of Course I Still Love You, which was positioned out in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Starlink network is currently available in parts of North America. SpaceX hopes it will be available worldwide late this year or early next year.
But the early Wednesday-morning launch was viewed by many space fans, including onlookers Scott Anderson and his wife who made the trip from Austin, Texas, to see a rocket launch in person.
“I wanted to feel it. You know, you see it on TV and I wanted to experience it firsthand,” he said. "It was on my bucket list to come check one out.”
And while they enjoyed it, they were a bit disappointed as the launch was quieter than normal.
“We’re out near where they do the rocket development in McGregor, Texas and we hear it all the time shaking our windows and it was not as loud as that. I was surprised!” he explained.
Yet, they were still glad to be able to witness the Falcon 9 rocket launch from the Space Coast, Scott Anderson said.