SpaceX launches 54 upgraded Starlink internet satellites and nails rocket landing at sea in 60th flight of the year

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SpaceX launches 54 upgraded Starlink internet satellites and nails rocket landing at sea in 60th flight of the year

By Elizabeth Howell

 last updated about 5 hours ago

SpaceX can now “deploy satellites to new orbits that will add even more capacity to the network.”

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SpaceX launched the first batch of a new generation of Starlink satellites into orbit early Wednesday (Dec. 28) and nailed a rocket landing at sea to mark a record 60th flight of the year.

Falcon 9 rocket topped with 54 upgraded Starlink internet satellites — the first generation 2 (Gen2) versions of the SpaceX fleet — lit up the predawn sky with a smooth launch at 4:34 a.m. EST (0934 GMT) from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

“Under our new license, we are now able to deploy satellites to new orbits that will add even more capacity to the network,” Jesse Anderson, a SpaceX production and engineering manager, said during live launch commentary. “Ultimately, this enables us to add more customers and provide faster service, particularly in areas that are currently oversubscribed.” 

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