VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, CA
A SpaceX rocket carried 52 Starlink Internet satellites into orbit from California early Saturday.
The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force’s coastal base at 4:41 a.m. and arched over the Pacific.
The Falcon’s first stage returned and landed on a SpaceX drone in the ocean. It was the 11th launch and resumption of the stage.
The second stage continued in orbit and the satellite deployment was confirmed, said launch commentator Youmei Zhou at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.
Starlink is a global satellite internet system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world.
Saturday’s mission was the 34th launch of Starlink, a constellation of nearly 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit.
SpaceX was also scheduled to launch a Turkish communications satellite from Florida at 10:58 p.m. EST on Saturday.