SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites to orbit
Elon Musk now presides over a megaconstellation of nearly 300 telecom satellites.
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA — SpaceX successfully launched another batch of 60 Starlink satellites with a Falcon 9 rocket. Space.com reports that the mission lifted off at an airbase in Florida at 10:05 a.m. on Friday.
According to SpaceX, Falcon 9 is a reusable first stage booster with nine Merlin 1D engines that put out more thrust than five Boeing 747s at full power. The payload of 60 small satellites rides atop the rocket into orbit.
According to SpaceX, Starlinks are telecom satellites that feature ion thrusters for maneuvering into position and articulated solar arrays. Space.com reports the latest launch brought the Starlink constellation up to nearly 300 satellites.
The launch marked the fourth time the company used a booster four times. This rocket's earlier missions include a satellite launch and two runs to replenish the International Space Station last year.
However, the rocket apparently missed the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You and made a soft landing in the seas near the robotic vessel. Space.com reports that the company is hopeful that the rocket can still be retrieved, citing SpaceX.
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