Falcon 9 took off from the 39 launch pad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at around 6 a.m., SpaceX said on Twitter.
The first stage booster supporting the mission completed eight flights prior to this launch.
“Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, completing the ninth flight of that booster,” SpaceX tweeted
The Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket, which stands 70 meters or 229 feet tall, according to information provided during the broadcast of the launch. It is described by SpaceX as the “first orbital class rocket capable of reflight.”
The 60 Starlink satellites were deployed about an hour after the rocket was launched.
Starlink is a satellite-based internet constellation intended to blanket the planet in high-speed broadband, and often touted as a way to potentially bring connectivity to the billions of people who still lack reliable internet access.
The idea requires swarms of satellites operating in low-Earth orbit — roughly 340 miles high, in SpaceX’s case — to provide continuous coverage.
About 1,000 Starlink satellites have been deployed, and SpaceX plans to grow Starlink to include more than 40,000 satellites. That’s five times the total number of satellites humans have launched since the dawn of spaceflight.
SpaceX now owns about one-third of all the active satellites in space.