Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sets night alight in latest launch

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SpaceXs Falcon 9 rocket delivers another 22 Stalink satellites to low Earth orbit. — X/@SpaceX
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket delivers another 22 Stalink satellites to low Earth orbit. — X/@SpaceX

Tech billionaire Elon Musk's space agency, SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 rocket into space on Monday after their two previous attempts failed due to bad weather.

The Falcon 9, which was carrying carry 22 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit, blasted off from the Vandenberg Space Force Base lighting up the night sky across Southern California.

According to KTLA, the rocket met its targeted launch time of 7:30pm and could be seen in the skies over Southern California.

Officials said Monday's launch marked the Flacon 9 first stage booster rocket's 15th flight, including eight other Starlink missions as well as several other missions for the United States Space Development Agency.

The Falcon 9 rocket successfully separated from its payload and landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX to deploy 12,000 more Starlink satellites into orbit. — X/SpaceX
SpaceX to deploy 12,000 more Starlink satellites into orbit. — X/SpaceX

Meanwhile, the upper stage will continue to haul further to deliver the 22 Starlink satellites towards low Earth orbit (LEO), where they will be deployed about 62 minutes after liftoff, Space reported.

The rescheduled launch also marked the 32nd Falcon 9 flight of 2024, and the 21st flight dedicated to building the Starlink megaconstellation.

Astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell said that SpaceX has lofted 6,100 Starlink satellites, 5,633 of which are currently operational.

Those already-staggering numbers will continue to grow far into the future.

SpaceX plans to continue deploying 12,000 Starlink craft in LEO, with an additional 30,000 waiting for approval for further expansion.