SpaceX delivered a new batch of its Starlink satellites into orbit today (September 3) and, after a few delays, nailed a rocket landing.
Falcon 9 2-stage rocket carrying a full load of 60 Starlink satellites lifted off at 8:46 a.m. Pad 39A EDT (1246 GMT) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The first stage of the booster returned to Earth about 9 minutes after its launch, landing in the Atlantic Ocean on one of the SpaceX's drone ships.
This was the third attempt, after weather and data review delays, to get this specific mission off the ground. The launch marks this month's first Starlink flight and so far in 2020 SpaceX's 16th flight.
The company's fleet of flight-proven boosters was busy this summer, with the California-based rocket maker hitting a new milestone on its previous Starlink flight: the same the first-stage booster was launched and landed six times.
SpaceX had initially intended to launch a doubleheader on Sunday (30 Aug.), with two separate Falcon 9s launching on the same day from the company's launch pads located in Florida — a first for the private spaceflight business. These plans were however thwarted by poor weather conditions caused by typical summer thunderstorms in the region
The Starlink project essentially aims to bring tens of thousands of broadband satellites into space, blanketing Earth in affordable high-speed internet. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX said he hopes Starlink will bring rural and remote regions online. The company's also deployed over 700 satellites.