SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit; recovers Falcon 9 rocket

After deploying the satellites into the orbit, the Falcon 9 booster was successfully recovered.

SpaceX successfully launched a fresh batch of Starlink satellites and deployed them into their intended target orbit. The space rocket company blasted off 60 mini-satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida, US.

 SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit; recovers Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX Starlink logo on the Falcon 9 fairing. Image credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose

In the previous launch, 60 satellites were launched, however, they were for testing purposes. The new batch of satellites was onboard a Falcon 9 rocket that flew its fourth successful mission. Each satellite weighs 260 kg.

After successfully deploying the satellites into the orbit, the booster was recovered using controlled landing on the 'Of Course I Still Love You' drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

It was the fourth launch of this first-stage booster — the most for SpaceX, which aimed to recover it again offshore. This also marked the first time SpaceX used a previously flown nose cone. The company reuses rocket parts to cut costs.

SpaceX was also aiming to recover the fairing of the Starlink satellites after detaching from the boosters. The fairing is the protective casing that is used to protect the payload, the satellites in this case. However, the conditions weren't favourable to recover the fairing in this launch.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk wants to put thousands of these Starlink satellites in orbit, to offer high-speed internet service everywhere. He plans to start service next year in the northern U.S. and Canada.

With inputs from The Associated Press.

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