Keeping up a rapid-fire launch cadence to begin 2022, SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 rocket Tuesday night from Kennedy Space Center in Florida with 49 Starlink internet satellites. Liftoff from pad 39A occurred at 9:02 p.m. EST Tuesday (0202 GMT Wednesday), following a one-day delay to wait for better conditions in the offshore booster recovery zone north of the Bahamas.
Virgin Orbit aims to build on two successful small satellite launches last year with another flight of its air-dropped rocket Thursday off the coast of California, this time carrying seven mini-payloads into low Earth orbit. The company’s Boeing 747 carrier aircraft departed Mojave Air and Space Port and released the LauncherOne rocket to begin its climb into orbit at 2:52 p.m. PST (5:52 p.m. EST; 2252 GMT).
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Thursday from Cape Canaveral with 105 satellites ranging from the size of a soda can to a washing machine. Liftoff occurred at 10:25 a.m. EST (1525 GMT), and the Falcon 9’s first stage booster returned to Florida’s Space Coast for a propulsive landing about eight-and-a-half minutes later.