It took five attempts, but SpaceX launched its latest batch of Starlink satellites Tuesday morning from Cape Canaveral.
The launch took place at 7:29 a.m.
The mission will place 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit, part of SpaceX’s plan to provide Internet access from space.
SpaceX is taking recycling to a whole new level, using parts that were used in previous missions. Half of the rocket’s nosecone is recycled hardware. One of Falcon 9′s fairing halves was used during two previous Starlink launches, according to SpaceX.
The rocket booster for this mission has launched twice before, including this summer when SpaceX launched Dragon Endeavour with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, marking the first human spaceflight from Florida since 2011.
And again, after launch, SpaceX recovered the rocket booster on a droneship at sea.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship pic.twitter.com/Jpkeiw9dIn— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 6, 2020
This launch will send the Starlink satellite constellation near 800 spacecraft in low-Earth orbit. Eventually, the company plans to have a fleet comprised of more than 40,000 satellites providing internet to even remote areas of the world.
Some of the first to benefit from the internet service has been first responders in areas impacted by wildfires in Washington state. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet the company is prioritizing emergency responders and locations with no Internet connectivity" for its first customers.
Launch times and dates are always subject to change and this week has been no exception. SpaceX and its competitor United Launch Alliance have both scrubbed multiple rocket launches for technical and weather issues since last week.
ULA has yet to set a new launch date for the Delta IV Heavy rocket with a national security payload. An attempt late Wednesday was scrubbed about 7 seconds before liftoff.
Falcon 9 launches 60 Starlink satellites to orbit, completing SpaceX's 43rd flight of a previously flown rocket booster pic.twitter.com/QHPxX1sac2— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 6, 2020