Skip to main content

Watch SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket soar above the clouds in latest launch

SpaceX successfully launched another 46 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit on Sunday, July 10.

The spaceflight company’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from a Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 6:30 p.m. PT.

As usual, SpaceX livestreamed the early stages of the mission, and also posted key sequences on its Twitter account. It was foggy at the launch site, but the livestream quickly revealed a beautiful scene as the rocket soared above a thick blanket of cloud.


— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 11, 2022

About 100 seconds into the flight, we can see the rocket at full power as it heads to orbit:

Starlink Mission

Around 150 seconds into Sunday’s mission, we get confirmation of main engine cutoff and stage separation, indicating the beginning of the first stage’s return to Earth. A few seconds later, we see the rocket’s fairing halves fall away, exposing the satellites to space for the first time, just ahead of their deployment.

Starlink Mission

This particular first-stage Falcon 9 booster was on its fifth flight, having previously supported the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich and DART missions, as well as three Starlink missions.

Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth, performing a perfect landing on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship waiting in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. Frustratingly, the livestream failed just as the rocket touched down.

Starlink Mission

Finally, the second stage deployed the 46 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit. SpaceX confirmed deployment shortly before 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Falcon 9 rockets have now been launched 166 times since June 2010, with 164 of the missions deemed a success. Besides delivering Starlink satellites to orbit, the rocket also sends satellites to space for private companies and organizations, and also powers astronauts and cargo toward the International Space Station.

For those not in the know, Starlink is an internet service that uses satellites to enable broadband connectivity for folks with the appropriate receiving equipment. SpaceX has now deployed more than 2,000 Starlink satellites, with the growing number of satellites allowing it to broaden its internet coverage globally.

While one of Starlink’s main goals is to bring connectivity to unserved or underserved communities, SpaceX is also keen to offer the service to anyone that wants it. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said some time ago that Starlink could potentially generate as much as $50 billion in annual revenue if it can win even just a few percent of the global telecommunications market.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Will SpaceX’s failed Starship flight impact NASA’s moon plan?
Artist concept of the SpaceX Starship on the surface of the Moon.

SpaceX’s Starship vehicle suffered what the spaceflight company called a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” on Thursday. In other words, it blew up.

The good news is that the uncrewed rocket cleared the pad and flew for around four minutes before meeting its fiery end. It means the SpaceX team will have plenty of valuable data on the rocket's flight performance, enabling it to refine the rocket’s systems to give it an improved chance of completing the second test flight and sending the Starship to orbit.

Read more
SpaceX Starship rocket launches in first test flight, but explodes in midair
spacex starship launch explosion

SpaceX has launched its integrated Starship for the first time, with the spacecraft and rocket leaving the launchpad on a test flight. However, not everything went smoothly during the test, as the rocket exploded before the separation of the Starship spacecraft from the Super Heavy rocket booster.

The launch from SpaceX's Starbase facility at Boca Chica in Texas saw the Starship leave the launch pad at 9:33 a.m. ET, consisting of the integrated Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy Booster, which form the world's most powerful rocket. The combined Starship will be used for future missions to the moon and beyond, launched from a launch-and-catch tower standing at an impressive height of nearly 500 feet tall.

Read more
How to watch SpaceX launch record-breaking Starship rocket on Thursday
The Starship, comprising the first-stage Super Heavy and the upper-stage Starship spacecraft, on the launchpad at SpaceX's facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

Starship Flight Test

Update: SpaceX called off Monday's launch attempt due to a technical issue. It's now targeting Thursday, April 20. Full details below. 

Read more