(IANS) Elon Musk-run SpaceX on Thursday successfully sent 60 Starlink satellites into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket successfully lifted off with the 12th Starlink batch from the Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on one of the drone ships in the Atlantic Ocean, the company said in a statement.
The Starlink satellites were deployed approximately 15 minutes after liftoff.
The launch marks the first Starlink mission this month and SpaceX’s 16th mission so far in 2020.
SpaceX has so far delivered more than 700 of its internet-beaming satellites into space.
According to Musk, there need to be between 500 and 800 satellites in orbit before they beam cheaper Internet.
In May 2019, Elon Musk-owned SpaceX launched its first batch of 60 Starlink communication satellites, which surprised astronomers and laypeople with their appearance in the night sky.
Astronomers have warned that satellite constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink network could disproportionately affect science programmes that require twilight observations, such as searches for Earth-threatening asteroids and comets,
Large constellations of bright satellites in low-Earth orbit will fundamentally change ground-based optical and infrared astronomy and could impact the appearance of the night sky for stargazers worldwide, said the Satellite Constellations 1 (SATCON1) report released late last month.
Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious project to launch and operate its own network of broadband satellites, which will provide low-cost Internet to remote locations on a global level.