Elon Musk's SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites — this time using the same Falcon 9 booster as its first crewed mission

Elon Musk's SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites — this time using the same Falcon 9 booster as its first crewed mission
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket takes off from Pad39A at the NASA Kennedy Space Center with 60 Starlink satellite on boardSpaceX
  • After four cancelled attempts, tech billionaire Elon Musk finally found the window to launch the next set of Starlink satellites today.
  • SpaceX used the same Falcon 9 booster that was used to launch the company’s first crewed mission in May with two National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts.
  • The booster, dubbed B1058, successfully made its return landing on the deck of the SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You.
Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX launched another set of 60 Starlink satellites into the sky today using the same Falcon 9 booster that was used in the company’s first manned mission into space earlier this year.


However, it wasn’t easy to get this launch off the ground. The take-off was cancelled four times before today’s success. Even today, the weather was a little suspicious with a brief rain shower and cumulus clouds in the sky. However, the skies were clear by the time the launch rolled around.

Elon Musk's SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites — this time using the same Falcon 9 booster as its first crewed mission
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket takes off from Pad39A at the NASA Kennedy Space Center with 60 Starlink satellite on boardSpaceX

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Falcon 9 booster’s third ride into space
This was the third launch of the Falcon 9’s booster dubbed B1058. On its maiden flight, the booster carried two National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 30. One can still spot NASA’s logo under the scorched booster despite the wear and tear.

Its second trip into space was in July when it launched a communications satellite for the South Korean military.

On its third trip, B1058 did not disappoint. Nine minutes after lift off, the booster landed on the deck of the SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, which was waiting with nets outstretched in the Atlantic Ocean. The ship is one of two that the company uses to catch its returning boosters.

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Today’s landing marked the 61st successful recovery of a Falcon first stage since Space recovered its first booster five years ago.

Repeated delays of SpaceX’s Starlink launch
The 60 satellites that will eventually form SpaceX’s mega-constellation capable of providing global high-speed internet were first supposed to take to the skies on September 15. That plan was cancelled due to poor weather conditions at the recovery site for Falcon 9.

Weather concerns were cited yet again for launches cancelled on September 28 and October 5. In between another attempt was scheduled for October 1 but got canned due to ground systems issues.
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Elon Musk's SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites — this time using the same Falcon 9 booster as its first crewed mission
Falcon 9 rocket takes to the skies after lift off from the Kennedy Space Center SpaceX

SpaceX’s mega constellation of satellites for global high speed internet
SpaceX’s initial plans are to set up a 1,440-strong mega constellation to provide what has been dubbed the Starlink System. According to Musk, at least 500 to 800 satellites need to be in the sky for internet service to start to roll out. And, he’s very near to that goal with 800 already in orbit around the Earth.

Going forward, the company has permission from the Federal Communications Commission to launch as many as 12,000 flat-panel broadband satellites. However, SpaceX has its sights set even higher. It is currently seeking approval to launch 30,000 more of its satellites for its fleet.

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The company is already private beta-testing the internet system in house. It has indicated that the testing may extend to the public before the end of the year.

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