SpaceX launched a rocket carrying 53 satellites for the Starlink broadband network from California on Saturday morning (Indian Standard Time). At 2:37 a.m. IST, the two-stage Falcon 9 rocket took off from Vandenberg Space Force Base. The rocket’s first stage landed on a droneship in the Pacific Ocean called ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ just a few minutes later. The second stage, meanwhile, resumed its journey to low Earth orbit.
The satellite launch was supposed to happen an hour later. “We are targeting a Falcon 9 launch of 53 Starlink satellites from SLC-40 in Florida in 22.5 hours,” SpaceX noted in a tweet.
“SpaceX plans to launch 53 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Saturday, May 14.” “The immediate launch window is at 4:40 p.m. ET, or 20:40 UTC,” SpaceX noted on its official website. “A backup chance is available on Sunday, May 15 at 4:12 p.m. ET, or 20:12 UTC.”
According to reports, SpaceX has launched over 2,500 Starlink satellites. Starlink is a space-based technology that has been in development for years with the goal of providing internet connection to underserved parts of the globe.
Meanwhile, SpaceX said on Friday that its Starlink satellite internet service is now accessible in 32 nations. On Twitter, Starlink released a map showing the service’s availability across the world. The business had previously stated that the services will be offered in 25 countries, but that number has now been increased.