SpaceX launched 22 more of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit tonight (Sept. 8) and landed the returning rocket on a ship at sea.
A Falcon 9 rocket launched the Starlink spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida tonight (Sept. 8) at 11:12 p.m. EDT (0312 GMT).
The Falcon 9’s first stage came back to Earth for a landing about 8.5 minutes after liftoff tonight, touching down on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Related: Starlink satellite train: How to see and track it in the night sky
It was the seventh launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description.
The 22 Starlink satellites are scheduled to deploy from the Falcon 9’s upper stage about 65 minutes after launch.
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Tonight’s launch was the 63rd of 2023 for SpaceX, extending the company’s record for a single year. The previous mark, 61, was set in 2022.
More than half of this year’s liftoffs have been dedicated to building out Starlink, SpaceX’s internet megaconstellation, which currently consists of more than 4,600 operational satellites.