SpaceX launches 21 Starlink satellites from California on Sept. 25 (Image Credit: Space.com)
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from California early Monday morning (Sept. 25), carrying 21 Starlink satellites to orbit.
The launch was streamed live via SpaceX‘s account on X (formerly Twitter); coverage started about five minutes before liftoff.
The Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth safely, landing on a SpaceX drone ship at sea about 8.5 minutes after launch.
It was the sixth liftoff and landing for this Falcon 9 first stage, according to a SpaceX mission description.
The 21 Starlink satellites deployed from the Falcon 9’s upper stage into low Earth orbit (LEO) about 62.5 minutes after launch.
Monday morning’s launch came less than two days after a Starlink liftoff from Florida’s Space Coast that marked the 17th flight for a Falcon 9 first stage. That tied the company’s reuse record, which was set just last week.
Starlink is SpaceX’s internet megaconstellation. The network consists of more than 4,750 operational satellites in LEO, and that number will continue to grow far into the future.