Hurricane Ian, which promises to wreak havoc across much of Florida in the coming days, yet again delayed the launch of NASA‘s multi-billion dollar project, the Artemis 1 Moon Rocket. However, while NASA remained grounded on Saturday night, Elon Musk’s SpaceX took to the skies, launching a Falcon 9 Rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in FL and viewable across many American skies. Footage of the launch shows the rocket’s initial blastoff and its journey through a canopy of clouds as it heads for its destination.
The footage from SpaceX’s rocket launch lasts for more than an hour. So, if you plan to watch the entire event, be sure to carve out some time from your day. That said, if you’re hoping only to see SpaceX’s latest launch, you can fast-forward to the 1:01:56 timestamp which kicks off the beginning of the countdown moments before the rocket’s blastoff.
According to Space Flight Now, SpaceX’s latest launch sent another 52 Starlink internet satellite’s into Earth’s atmosphere. The launch further adds to the company’s global broadband network which now covers all seven continents. The new collection of satellites onboard the Falcon 9 will further grow the company’s consumer-grade, high-speed, low-latency internet network. As of now, SpaceX’s network offers internet connection to users in more than 40 countries and territories.
Per the outlet, Antarctica is one of the most recent regions on the planet to see network connection from SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.
Saturday Night Launch Aids SpaceX In Nearing Initial Fleet Deployment Goal
As stated, Saturday night’s rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station sent an additional 52 SpaceX Starlink satellites into Earth’s atmosphere. And while that might seem like a lot of satellites taking to the skies at one time, it marks just a fraction of what the commercial space company has achieved so far.
Altogether, Space Flight Now states SpaceX’s original goal was to send a fleet of 4,400 satellites into Earth’s atmosphere, better helping to provide coverage to subscribers on all seven continents. However, on occasion, some launches and satellites have failed, with some even plummeting earthward after failing to find their place in our skies.
Of the fleet numbering 4,440 total, SpaceX has sent 3,399 Starlink satellites into space so far. However, that number does include failed crafts. That said, there are now currently around 3,000 operating Starlink satellites in space. 2,500 of those are fully operational while the remaining 500 moves into their operational orbits.
Saturday night’s launch marked the 43rd of the year for SpaceX, with several more months to go until the new year. With just about three months left in 2022, it will be interesting to see how many more launches the company achieves before 2023.