Updated 11:15 p.m. EDT (0230 UTC): Falcon 9 launches deploys satellites. Falcon Heavy static fire slips to Saturday.
A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off Friday night on another mission to deliver satellites into orbit for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service. Launch from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station occurred at 10:00 p.m. EDT Sept. 29 (0200 UTC on Sept. 30) after a delay of more than three hours caused by weather.
The Falcon 9 rocketed off from pad 40 into an overcast sky targeting a trajectory that took it south-east from Florida’s Space Coast. Following stage separation, two and half minutes into flight, booster 1069, which was making its tenth flight, arced towards a landing on the drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas,” stationed about 420 miles (675 km) downrange in the Atlantic east of the Bahamas. Touch down occurred about eight and half minutes after launch.
It was SpaceX’s 43rd Starlink delivery mission of the year. The 22 so-called V2 Mini satellites, were released into orbit an hour and five minutes after liftoff, according to a social media post by the company.
SpaceX recently announced it had signed up over two million subscribers in more than 60 countries for its Starlink internet service.
It’s been a busy day for SpaceX teams on the Florida Space Coast. Early Friday morning, at pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, they rolled out the Falcon Heavy rocket for NASA’s Psyche launch, now planned for Oct. 12. Plans to test fire its 27 first stage engines this evening have been pushed back to Saturday. Spaceflight Now will bring you live coverage of the launch and static fire.