Under bright, sunny skies in Florida, SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket early on Wednesday evening, delivering 23 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit.

“Merlin engine ignition and liftoff of Falcon 9!” In an X post, SpaceX wrote.

“Five, four, three, two, one, zero, mission liftoff,” the 230-foot rocket can be seen launching from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:26 p.m. EDT in camera footage of the event.

The rocket’s first-stage booster made a vertical landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, SpaceX reported more than eight minutes later.

“Nominal orbital insertion and first stage landing on the Just Read the Instructions droneship confirmed,” Space X announced on X.

About sixty-five minutes after launch, the twenty-three Starlink satellites were put into orbit.

SpaceX announced in an update, “Payload deploy confirmed, adding 23 Starlink satellites to the global constellation.”

The megaconstellation will consist of over 5,700 operational satellites, of which the 23 Starlink satellites are an addition.

With the launch on Wednesday, SpaceX completed its 39th orbital mission of the year, the 26th of which was focused on the Starlink network.

It was also the mission’s twelfth first-stage booster launch and landing. That puts it within eight of the 20 missions that the company has reused in the past.

While Wednesday’s launch went flawlessly, SpaceX’s livestream feed cut out about three minutes after liftoff. No reason for the disruption was given.

Topics #Falcon 9 #Kennedy Space Center #Launch #News #Orbital Mission #rocket #SpaceX #Starlink satellites