SpaceX successfully launched its fourth batch of Starlink satellites into orbit and landed a rocket landing Wednesday following days of weather delays for the mission.
A sooty Falcon 9 rocket — which made its third flight with this launch — roared to life at 9:06 a.m. ET, lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here in Florida. The rocket carried 60 Starlink satellites for SpaceX’s growing constellation, the second such launch by the company this month.
Last week, strong upper level winds forced the private spaceflight company to postpone the Starlink-3 mission’s launch. SpaceX then aimed for the backup launch date of Jan. 28, but rough seas where the drone ship was waiting may have thwarted any attempt at a landing.
The star of this mission, the Falcon 9 first stage dubbed B1051.3 by SpaceX, previously lofted a Crew Dragon capsule as part of the company’s uncrewed mission to the space station as well as a trio of Earth-observing satellites for Canada.