SpaceX’s first launch since August took off from Cape Canaveral at 9:56 a.m. EST (1456 GMT) to carry 60 broadband satellites into orbit for the company’s Starlink network. The Starlink satellites rode together on top of a Falcon 9 rocket with a previously-flown first stage and a reused payload fairing.
New satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network set for launch Monday from Cape Canaveral will debut several performance and safety upgrades, but they do not include changes to reduce the brightness of the satellites, a modification SpaceX says it will introduce on future Starlink craft to mitigate their impacts on ground-based astronomy.
SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said Thursday that the company’s recovery fleet in the Atlantic Ocean recovered the two halves of the Falcon Heavy’s payload shroud after the heavy-lifter’s second launch from the Kennedy Space Center. Musk said the company plans to reuse the fairing for the first time later this year.