SpaceX successfully launched 23 Starlink internet satellites from Florida on Saturday, initiating the first of two planned missions in the same weekend. The launch took place at 12:05 a.m. EST (0500 GMT) from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, piloted by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Related: How to See and Track the Starlink Satellite Train in the Night Sky
The Falcon 9’s first stage returned and landed vertically on the drone ship “Just Read The Instructions” in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 8.5 minutes after liftoff.
This launch marked the 11th successful launch and landing for this rocket’s first stage, as stated in a SpaceX mission description.
The 23 Starlink satellites were deployed from the Falcon 9’s upper stage into low Earth orbit about 65.5 minutes after the initial launch. This mission was the first of two Starlink missions that weekend, with another 22 broadband satellites planned for launch from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base the following day.
In addition to these ambitious launches, SpaceX planned to conduct the second-ever test flight of its massive Starship rocket from its South Texas site. This event was scheduled to take place on Saturday, offering spectators the chance to watch the much-anticipated flight live on Space.com.