A SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida the Kennedy Space Center at 8:46 a.m. Thursday, September 3, deploying a set of approximately 60 Starlink broadband satellites 15 minutes later.
Earlier this week SpaceX confirmed that employees have been testing Starlink’s latency and download speeds, key measures for an internet service provider.
According to SpaceX engineer Kate Tice, “They show super low latency and download speeds greater than 100 [megabits] per second. That means our latency is low enough to play the fastest online video games and our download speeds are fast enough to stream multiple HD movies at once.”
After today’s launch the Falcon 9’s reusable first stage booster was able to land on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” located in the Atlantic Ocean several hundred miles east of Charleston, South Carolina.
This landing was the 60th time SpaceX has recovered a Falcon 9 booster, and it completed the second trip to space and back for the specific rocket flown Thursday.
The goal of SpaceX is to build an interconnected network of about 12,000 small satellites in low Earth orbit. With this launch, SpaceX has delivered 713 Starlink spacecraft of its version 1.0 satellites to orbit in the last 16 months and is currently building a system of ground stations and user terminals to connect consumers directly to its network.