SpaceX launches batch of Starlink internet satellites from Florida


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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Florida Thursday morning, sending the company’s newest batch of Starlink internet satellites to low-Earth orbit and completing the company’s first launch of March.

SpaceX’s ninth Falcon 9 launch in as many weeks blasted off at 9:25 am EST from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center with 47 Starlink internet satellites packed into the nosecone of the reused, 230-foot rocket.

Thursday’s mission marked the 11th reuse of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage booster upon its successful landing on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship stationed southeast of Florida. It should return to Port Canaveral before the end of the weekend.

Coupled with ULA’s launch of its Atlas V rocket earlier in the week, Thursday morning’s launch marks the tenth successful mission from Florida’s Space Coast this year. In total, SpaceX has launched nine of its Falcon 9 rockets from Florida’s Space Coast and has successfully recovered all of them.

The company also noted its effort to recover the fairing halves, or pieces of the Falcon 9’s protective nosecone, by attempting to scoop up the large structures from the Atlantic Ocean with one of the recovery vessels named Bob. Both halves of the nosecone were previously flown with one half being reused for a third time while the other for a fourth.

During Thursday’s live webcast, Siva Bharadvaj, a space operations engineer at SpaceX, noted Starlink internet service had been activated in Ukraine.

“We couldn’t be more proud of all the teams that jumped in to make this effort happen, along with the many individuals locally who supported it. Thank you and we hope it helps,” he said.

The next launch from the Space Coast will again be a SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying another batch of Starlink internet satellites on Tuesday, March 8, from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Liftoff is set for sometime after 7 am EST that day.

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