CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The third time was the charm.
After two postponements -- one on Monday and one on Tuesday -- SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Wednesday morning from Cape Canaveral, the latest in the company’s Starlink mission.
The launch took place at 8:02 a.m. Wednesday.
About eight minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9 rocket’s first-stage booster landed on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Just Read the Instructions droneship! pic.twitter.com/3nh3jongIY— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 20, 2021
Packed inside the 230-foot rocket’s fairing were about 60 Starlink internet satellites slated to join nearly 1,000 others already in low-Earth orbit. The launch marked the company’s 17th for the constellation, which will need dozens more flights to fulfill the goal of worldwide, space-based broadband coverage.
SpaceX late last year began expanding eligibility for public testing of the network, which runs $99 a month after $499 for equipment like the satellite dish and wireless router. Coverage is currently limited to the higher latitudes like Washington state, Montana, Michigan, and parts of Canada.
SpaceX has not yet set the date for its 18th launch with Starlink satellites but is planning to launch a ride-sharing mission later this week.