Approximately 9 minutes later, the booster's first stage came back to Earth, landing on one of SpaceX's drone ships in the Atlantic Ocean. The launch marks SpaceX's 17th mission so far inand its 94th Falcon 9 flight to date. The company's fleet of flight-proven boosters has been busy this year, with the California-based rocket builder reaching a few new milestones, including launching and landing the same first-stage booster six times.
The launch also came amid World Space Weekwhich is celebrating the impact satellites have on everyday life. Related: SpaceX's Starlink satellite megaconstellation launches in photos. Poor weather conditions at Falcon 9's ocean recovery site forced SpaceX to stand down from its first attempt to launch this particular Starlink mission on Sept.
After several delays, SpaceX launches its latest batch of Starlink satellites
Weather concerns also thwarted a launch attempt on Sept. But the fifth time was the charm today, with Mother Nature finally cooperating for a smooth launch. The weather was iffy this morning as a brief rain shower and patch of cumulus clouds rolled in, but the skies cleared as the minutes ticked away.
Onlookers cheered as the Falcon leapt off the pad, signaling an end to the series of launch aborts and weather scrubs that have recently plagued the Space Coast. Related: Why SpaceX's Starlink satellites caught astronomers off guard. The booster powering today's launch is a previously flown Falcon 9 first stage that the company has identified as B The rocket then lofted a communications satellite for South Korea's military in July. Emblazoned with NASA's iconic worm logo, still visible underneath the booster's scorched appearance from its two trips to space and back, B is one of the newest additions to SpaceX's fleet of frequent fliers.
Approximately nine minutes after liftoff, the first stage made another landing, touching down on the deck of the SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, which was waiting out in the Atlantic Ocean. The massive drone ship is one of two used by SpaceX to catch its returning boosters.
That ship was originally deployed in the Pacific Ocean, but switched coasts earlier this year, and has received a host of new upgrades. The landing today marked the 61st recovery of a Falcon first stage since SpaceX recovered its first booster in SpaceX's Starlink megaconstellation is designed to provide global broadband coverage for high-speed internet access, particularly for people in rural and remote areas. Each of the flat-panel Starlink satellites weighs roughly a quarter-ton and are built in-house at a SpaceX facility in Redmond, Washington.
The company also manufactures its own own user terminals and ground stations. While SpaceX expects its initial set of Starlink satellites to be 1, strong, the company has plans to launch thousands more. SpaceX is inching closer and closer to that goal, as it has delivered nearly into orbit so far.After several failed attempts, SpaceX was finally able to launch another batch of Starlink satellites early Tuesday.
Liftoff came at a. About eight minutes into the launch, the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket landed on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You'' off the coast of Florida, the 61st successful recovery. An hour after liftoff, 60 Starlink satellites floated into orbit to join a growing constellation SpaceX has been building and deploying since last May.
The Starlink program aims to blanket the globe with affordable, fast internet, even for remote parts of the planet. So far, SpaceX has put in place about satellites and hopes to have about 1, in position by the end of the year in order to provide coverage for North America.
This launch, for instance, has been postponed at least three times, often during the last seconds before liftoff. On Tuesday, however, clouds at Cape Canaveral cleared just a few minutes before liftoff, allowing the mission to proceed.
Want more space news? Follow Go For Launch on Facebook. Email the reporter at cglenn orlandosentinel. Skip to content. Latest Space.Sounds pretty straightforward — but what makes Starlink special compared to conventional satellite internet? Well, to put it plainly: while satellite internet has been around for ages, it has generally suffered from high latency, unreliable connections, and spotty service areas. To give you a sense of just how formidable a challenge this is, here are some numbers: There are currently only 1, satellites currently in orbit around earth, along with 2, inactive.
SpaceX will need to launch 4, satellites into orbit to achieve its desired coverage. The project is ambitious to say the least, but the payoff will presumably be immense. If this project comes to fruition, it would make low latency internet available to locations that previously had either poor service, or none at all. The impact such a network might have on Earth remains to be seen, but Elon Musk is already thinking beyond our pale blue dot.
In the long-term, SpaceX intends to develop a similar system to deploy on Mars for future colonization attempts, and will use the Starlink project to lay the foundation for those efforts. This is still a very early development: The demo satellites are designed primarily to prove that the Starlink concept is viable. However, the milestone is still a particularly important one that shows the project is ongoing and in good health.
That means that if Starlink gets enough satellites in the sky to offer a commercial internet connection, they are free to offer it in the U. Of course, a few satellites in a long way from the expected or so, but FCC approval is still an important green light for the project…although the organization did admit some trepidation concerning the high number of planned Starlink satellite, tying approval to a robust requirement for managing orbital debris.
In other words, Starlink will have to clean up all its messes. Google may be messing around with balloonsbut Facebook is investing in a project similar to Starlink, which could provide some interesting competition up in orbital space. Athena is expected to launch on a trial run next year, after which things will get very interesting for Starlink. If the trial run is a success, we suspect Facebook will start working on a whole mesh of satellites in the Starlink model, pitting the two projects directly against each other.
The road ahead To give you a sense of just how formidable a challenge this is, here are some numbers: There are currently only 1, satellites currently in orbit around earth, along with 2, inactive.
A little competition…with Facebook? GeoTel Google may be messing around with balloonsbut Facebook is investing in a project similar to Starlink, which could provide some interesting competition up in orbital space.
After two launches scrubbed this week, Musk says SpaceX needs to improve 5 days ago. Practice makes perfect: How VR is revolutionizing surgical training May 16, Can chloroquine cure coronavirus?Starlink is a satellite internet constellation being constructed by SpaceX   providing satellite Internet access.
SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military,  scientific, or exploratory purposes. Product development began inwith the first two prototype test-flight satellites launched in February A second set of test satellites and the first large deployment of a piece of the constellation occurred in May when the first 60 operational satellites were launched.
On 15 Octoberthe United States Federal Communications Commission submitted filings to the International Telecommunication Union on SpaceX's behalf to arrange spectrum for 30, additional Starlink satellites to supplement the 12, Starlink satellites already approved by the FCC.
The opening of the SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond was announced by SpaceX in January with partners, to develop and build out the new communication network. At the time, the Seattle-area office planned to initially hire approximately 60 engineers, and potentially people by By Januarythe company had publicly disclosed plans to have two prototype satellites flying in and to have the initial satellite constellation in orbit and operational by approximately Overall, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said then that the project remained in the "design phase as the company seeks to tackle issues related to user-terminal cost".
In MarchSpaceX filed plans with the FCC to field a second orbital shell of more than 7, " V-band satellites in non-geosynchronous orbits to provide communications services" in an electromagnetic spectrum that has not previously been heavily employed for commercial communications services.
In the event, the planned launch of two revised test satellites was moved to Some controversy arose in — with regulatory authorities on licensing of the communications spectrum for these large constellations of satellites.
The traditional and historical regulatory rule for the licensing spectrum has been that satellite operators could "launch a single spacecraft to meet their in-service deadline [from the regulator], a policy is seen as allowing an operator to block the use of valuable radio spectrum for years without deploying its fleet".
The international regulator, International Telecommunication Union ITUproposed in mid a guideline that would be considerably less restrictive. Bythe FCC had ruled that half of the constellation must be in orbit in six years, with the full system in orbit nine years from the date of the license.
SpaceX trademarked the name Starlink for their satellite broadband network in ;  the name was inspired by the book The Fault in Our Stars.
SpaceX filed documents in late with the FCC to clarify their space debris mitigation plan. The company will "implement an operations plan for the orderly de-orbit of satellites nearing the end of their useful lives roughly five to seven years at a rate far faster than is required under international standards. SpaceX would need to obtain a separate approval from the International Telecommunication Union.Starlink Mission
In NovemberSpaceX received US regulatory approval to deploy 7, broadband satellites, in addition to the 4, approved earlier.
With plans by several providers to build commercial space-Internet mega-constellations of thousands of satellites increasingly likely to become a reality, the US military began to perform test studies in to evaluate how the networks might be used.
By AprilSpaceX was transitioning their satellite efforts from research and development to manufacturing, with the planned first launch of a large group of satellites to orbit, and the clear need to achieve an average launch rate of "44 high-performance, low-cost spacecraft built and launched every month for the next 60 months" to get the 2, satellites launched to support their FCC spectrum allocation license assignment.
By the end of JuneSpaceX had communicated with all 60 satellites but lost contact with three; the remaining 57 were working as intended. The remaining two satellites were intended to be quickly removed from orbit and reenter the atmosphere in order to test the satellite de-orbiting process; the three that lost contact were also expected to reenter, but will do so passively from atmospheric drag as SpaceX was no longer able to actively control them.
In JuneSpaceX applied to the FCC for a license to test up to ground terminals — 70 nationwide across the United States and in Washington state at SpaceX employee homes   — and aircraft-borne antenna operation from four distributed United States airfields; as well as five ground-to-ground test locations.
SpaceX argued that this change could bring coverage to the southern United States in time for the hurricane season. The total number of satellites in the km shell would remain the same, at 1, In OctoberElon Musk publicly tested the Starlink network by using an internet connection routed through the network to post a tweet to social media site Twitter.
They plan to launch up to 60 more per Falcon 9 flight, with launches as often as every two weeks in In total, nearly 12, satellites are planned to be deployed, with a possible later extension to 42, On 17 AprilSpaceX modified the architecture of the Starlink network. The application covers 4, Starlink satellites, one fewer than envisioned under the previous architecture.
The generation 2 Starlink constellation is expected to include up to 30, satellites and provide complete global coverage. By JuneSpaceX had filed with Canadian regulatory authorities for a license to offer Starlink high-speed internet services in Canada.The Starlink satellite internet network that SpaceX is developing has been used in the field by Washington state emergency responders in recent weeks, the first early application of the company's service to be disclosed.
Washington's state military, which includes its emergency response division, began employing Starlink user terminals in early August to bring internet service to areas devastated by wildfires. The emergency division has seven Starlink user terminals, which it is deploying with early success. Hall, whose division has used other satellite broadband services, said "there's really no comparison" between Starlink and traditional networks, where the satellites are farther away from the Earth in Geosynchronous or medium earth orbits.
Hall said that, with other traditional services, it typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour to set up a satellite connection, "with a lot less speed and bandwidth and a lot higher latency in a much larger package.
By comparison, Hall emphasized that it took him between five and 10 minutes to set up and connect a Starlink terminal. And a single person can set up one of the devices: "It doesn't require a truck and a trailer and a whole lot of other additional equipment," Hall said. So, to me, it's amazing," Hall added. SpaceX's Starlink development facility and factory is in Redmond, Washington, just outside of Seattle. Hall's division had some early discussions with SpaceX, he said, as the state was working "to provide some rural coverage to some of our tribal areas that were not going to get broadband at all for awhile.
To date SpaceX has launched more than Starlink satellites — a fraction of the total needed for global coverage but enough to begin providing services in some regions, including in the northwest U.
The company has confirmed that it's been conducting a private beta test of Starlink with employees, but Hall said Washington's emergency division use case "grew organically out of previously unrelated talks. Washington has used Starlink to get regions "zero day communications," Hall said. He has set up terminals in areas that were burned severely to provide evacuated families with wireless calling and internet access to file insurance claims.
We covered a whole lot of bases," Hall said. The U. Air Force has also notably conducted early tests of Starlink, but Washington's use represents the first application of the service over several weeks.
SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites and lands rocket at sea
SpaceX has sent Hall both beta and the first commercial Starlink user terminals. He said the user terminals are all "great quality," with the commercial ones being "just a bit more of a slicker, more finished product. The base of the terminal was originally a solid round weight but changed to a tripod, which Hall said allowed for a more flexible set up experience.SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifted off about a.
Multiple previous launches had been postponed since Sept. The flight's reusable booster landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean following the launch. SpaceX founder Elon Musk had tweeted that he would travel to Florida to review the launch following a scrub Friday night he said was due to an "unexpected pressure rise" in a gas generator.
The launch was postponed again Monday morning due to rainstorms in the area. The delays were mirrored by a string of similar scrubs in recent weeks for its main rival, United Launch Alliance, which is trying to send a spy satellite into orbit for the Defense Department. ULA also has cited weather and mechanical issues with ground systems for the delays that have kept its powerful Delta IV Heavy rocket, carrying the spy satellite, on the launch pad.
That attempt was scrubbed due to a sensor reading on ground systems, but Baradvaj noted that the rocket and spacecraft were in good shape. Tuesday's launch will ultimately grow the number of Starlink satellites in orbit to well over More have been launched, but at least 27 have deorbited and burned up, according to astronomers.
While SpaceX increases the number of spacecraft in orbit, it also is testing the system with hundreds of Internet users in North America, according to documents SpaceX filed with the Federal Communications Commission.
Last week, emergency responders in Washington State shared their experience using Starlink.
In the wake of the wildfires that devastated areas of the state in August, first responders there have been using the service for their purposes and to help bring the residents of Malden internet service while they rebuild their community.
Malden is located about 35 miles south of Spokane, Washington, which falls within the northern latitudes our satellites currently service. The way emergency responders deployed Starlink in this context is representative of how Starlink works best—in remote or rural areas where internet connectivity is unavailable.
Our Starlink network is still in its early stages, but as our network grows our coverage will grow as well.
If you would like to receive updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area, please visit starlink. Recent Launch Starlink Mission.