The American space company SpaceX successfully launched a new package of satellites for its Starlink constellation on Sunday.
A Falcon-9 launch vehicle from SpaceX took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 4.20 pm Belgian time. The first stage returned to Earth about nine minutes later, landing on the Just Read The Commands drone ship bobbing off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean.
The staircase flew for a thirteenth time, equaling the record, and is likely to go into space again, according to space.com. Reuse of rocket parts reduces launch costs.
About fifteen minutes after lift-off, 53 Starlink satellites were released from the second stage for the broadband network in space that SpaceX is developing. 2,858 such satellites have already been launched. It was SpaceX’s 31st launch this year, eighteen of which were for Starlink. It was also the 165th start of a Falcon-9 since 2010.