A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 22 Starlink internet satellites into orbit this evening (October 17).
A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida today at 8:39 PM EDT (0039 GMT on October 18).
Related: Starlink Space Train: How to See and Track It in the Night Sky
The rocket’s first stage returned to Earth, landing at sea on a “read only instructions” drone ship about 8.5 minutes after launch. This was the 16th flight of the first stage of this particular rocket, just shy of the company’s reusability record, set just last month.
Meanwhile, the 22 Starlink satellites were scheduled to deploy from the Falcon 9 rocket’s upper stage about 65 minutes after launch.
SpaceX has launched more than 70 orbital missions in 2023, most of them dedicated to building out the company’s massive Starlink constellation.
Starlink, which provides internet service to customers around the world, currently consists of approx 4900 operational satellitesAnd the number continues to grow, as tonight’s launch showed.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”