SpaceX launches 52 Starlink satellites from California base

A SpaceX rocket has carried 52 Starlink internet satellites into orbit from California

ByThe Associated Press
December 18, 2021, 5:16 PM
A SpaceX rocket launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base early Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The Falcon’s first stage successfully returned and landed on a SpaceX droneship in the ocean. It was the 11th launch
A SpaceX rocket launches from Vandenberg Space Force Base early Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The Falcon’s first stage successfully returned and landed on a SpaceX droneship in the ocean. It was the 11th launch and recovery of the stage, marking a milestone in reusability. The second stage continued into orbit and deployed the satellites. (SpaceX via AP)
The Associated Press

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A SpaceX rocket carried 52 Starlink internet satellites into orbit from California early Saturday.

The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from coastal Vandenberg Space Force Base at 4:41 a.m. and arced over the Pacific.

The Falcon's first stage returned and landed on a SpaceX droneship in the ocean. It was the 11th launch and recovery of the stage.

The second stage continued into orbit and deployment of the satellites was confirmed, said launch commentator Youmei Zhou at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

Starlink is a satellite-based global internet system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world.

Saturday's mission was the 34th launch for Starlink, a constellation of nearly 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit.

SpaceX also was scheduled to launch a Turkish communications satellite from Florida at 10:58 p.m. EST Saturday.

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