The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the manned Crew Dragon spacecraft attached takes off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 30, 2020. (Photo: Agencies)
WASHINGTON - US private space company SpaceX launched its eighth batch of 60 Starlink satellites into space on Wednesday.
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 9:25 pm Eastern Time (0225 GMT Thursday). Following stage separation, Falcon 9's first stage has landed on the "Just Read the Instructions" droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Later, SpaceX confirmed successful deployment of the 60 Starlink satellites.
Falcon 9's first stage is the first orbital class rocket booster to successfully launch and land five times, SpaceX tweeted.
The first stage previously supported the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in September 2018, the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019, and two separate Starlink missions in May 2019 and in January 2020, according to SpaceX.
Starlink will deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable, according to SpaceX.
The company's internet service will be available in the northern United States and Canada at some point this year, with global coverage planned for 2021.
SpaceX planned to launch into space about 12,000 Starlink satellites by 2024, and has revealed a bigger plan to launch 30,000 additional ones, bringing the total to 42,000.