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Watch the highlights from SpaceX’s latest Starlink launch

SpaceX successfully launched its 14th batch of Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit on Sunday, October 18.

With clear blue skies all around, a Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 8:25 a.m. ET carrying 60 Starlink satellites in the program’s latest launch.

As usual, an abundance of cameras livestreamed the event, with highlights including the launch, landing, and satellite deployment.

Falcon 9 launches 60 Starlink satellites – one step closer to providing high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 18, 2020

The livestream commentator later confirmed that its two ships had managed to catch both of the fairing halves as planned, but added that the net on one of the ships had given way when the fairing landed. The commentator confirmed that no injuries were sustained by the ship’s crew, adding that the fairing half will now be brought back to land for inspection to see if can be used on a future mission.

Catching the fairing in a giant net has proved to be a tricky procedure, with some attempts ending with it in the water. Recently, however, SpaceX has had more success, though it’s the first time we’ve heard of an issue with the net’s ability to hold the part.

Mission highlights

The rocket lifted off on Sunday morning, once again demonstrating SpaceX’s reusable rocket system. This particular first-stage Falcon 9 booster is the one used in the historic launch of the Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station earlier this year. It’s also been used for three previous Starlink missions.


— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 18, 2020

A short while after climbing into the sky, the first-stage booster returned to Earth and made a perfect landing on SpaceX’s Of Course I Still Love You drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Chances are we’ll see this particular booster heading skyward again before too long.

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 18, 2020

After that, SpaceX deployed its 60 Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit.

Deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 18, 2020

SpaceX now has around 1,000 Starlink satellites in orbit as it gears up to launch a broadband service from space. The company said in September that recent trials showed the system is capable of download speeds of “greater than 100 megabytes per second — fast enough to stream multiple HD movies at once and still have bandwidth to spare.”

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Trevor Mogg
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