SpaceX successfully launches 60 more Starlink satellites into orbit

CEO Elon Musk is already the world's largest satellite constellation operator, but he's just getting started.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
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Eric Mack

This is the nose cone that shields 60 Starlink satellites.


SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is 60 satellites closer to blanketing Earth with the Starlink broadband service. A Falcon 9 rocket launched Wednesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying the latest batch of what could eventually become a mega-constellation. Several minutes after launch, the first stage of the rocket successfully landed on a droneship in the Atlantic.

The mission had been postponed multiple times this month due to adverse weather. 

This marks the fourth launch of a full batch of Starlink satellites. This group will be highly reflective and likely visible from the ground at certain points, especially around sunrise and sunset, an attribute that has caused consternation in the astronomy community. (Check out this guide on how to spot Starlink "trains".) 

On Jan. 6, SpaceX launched an experimental "darksat" designed to be less reflective.

The Starlink mega-constellation could eventually total 42,000 satellites, according to regulatory filings from the company. With this launch, SpaceX has sent a total of 242 satellites into space, including early test birds. 

It's already been a busy month for SpaceX in Florida, following the successful in-flight abort test of its Crew Dragon capsule, which could begin carrying astronauts to the International Space Station later this year. 

Originally published Jan. 20.
Update, Jan. 29: Updates the launch status.