After a few delays, SpaceX was successful Tuesday night in launching its 16th batch of internet satellites from Cape Canaveral.
The Falcon 9 rocket liftoff happened at 9:13 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 40.
Atop the rocket in the nose cone was 60 more Starlink satellites. SpaceX founder Elon Musk has plans to launch a constellation, or network, of satellites to provide internet to anywhere in the world, even remote areas. This launch will send the fleet close to 1,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit.
According to weather officials with the 45th Weather Squadron, there were no major threats to the launch forecast. Some coastal clouds and showers may push inland Tuesday evening but were not expected to pose a problem. The primary concern was liftoff winds and cloud cover. There was an 80% chance of favorable conditions for the launch window, according to Space Force weather officers.
The launch was delayed during the past three attempts beginning Saturday. On Monday, SpaceX delayed the launch because of recovery weather at sea where it lands the Falcon 9 booster. The company set a new record when the rocket hardware touched down on a droneship called Of Course I Still Love You, marking the seventh time the booster has launched and landed.
Tuesday’s recovery weather was still a little risky with a moderate threat to the landing, according to the forecast. Wave height and wind are among the weather factors at play when landing a 19-story booster in the Atlantic Ocean.
Earlier this year, SpaceX rolled out testing for Starlink internet to some early subscribers in the northern U.S. Most recently, SpaceX has started the service in parts of southern Canada after receiving Canadian regulatory approval.
The company expects to expand service to the rest of the U.S. and have “near global coverage” sometime next year, according to the Starlink website.
The early internet testing is called Starlink’s “Better than Nothing Beta program.” SpaceX recently hosted an “ask me anything” on Reddit about Starlink with satellite engineers. The AMA received more than 4,700 comments many from customers taking part in the beta program.