SpaceX successfully launches Starlink satellites, lands in seventh 2021 mission
The Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral before sunrise
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched even more Starlink internet satellites into orbit early Thursday morning.
The Falcon 9 booster rocket took off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 3:13 a.m. ET.
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"Liftoff!" the company wrote on Twitter with a video showing the seconds after the launch.
Less than nine minutes later, the rocket's reusable 15-story first stage booster touched back down on the floating "Just Read the Instructions" drone ship.
The platform is about 400 miles downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.
This liftoff was the company's seventh mission of the year and 21st 60-satellite Starlink launch. It was also the 110th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket and the 76th SpaceX booster landing thus far.
The launch was initially scheduled for March 9 but the date was pushed back so SpaceX could conduct more prelaunch tests, according to Space.com.
Almost an hour after the Falcon 9's launch, the Starlink satellites were deployed.
SpaceX has now launched more than 1,200 Starlink satellites -- some of which are no longer operational -- making the largest constellation of artificial satellites.
Earlier in the year, SpaceX opened up access to the satellites to members of the public in a current or planned service area using a pre-order reservation system.
The company plans to launch tens of thousands more satellites to build out coverage, network capacity and speed.
In a Feb. 22 tweet, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that the constellation will provide active coverage to most of the Earth by 2021 and complete global coverage by 2022.
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Another Starlink mission could launch as soon as this weekend, and SpaceX has at least two more missions scheduled before the end of the month, according to Spaceflight Now.