A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched 52 Starlink satellites to low-earth orbit Friday from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base.
The launch commenced at 12:26 p.m. and it was the eighth launch and landing for this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched two National Reconnaissance Office satellites, a German radar satellite and a surface water and oceanography topography satellite. It has now launched four Starlink missions.
Friday's launch from Vandenberg was SpaceX's 18th orbital mission of 2023.
At 8 minutes, 50 seconds after launch, the Falcon 9 first-stage rocket touched down on the SpaceX droneship "Of Course I Still Love You," which was stationed in the Pacific.
The second-stage rocket with the Starlink payload, meanwhile, reached speeds of nearly 17,000 mph and an altitude of 140 miles above earth.
The Starlink satellites were deployed successfully about 15 minutes after launch.
The satellites joined about 3,500 others in the Starlink megaconstellation that provides broadband internet services from space.