A used SpaceX rocket launched
a new fleet of Starlink internet satellites into orbit and returned to Earth for a stunning landing at sea early Wednesday (May 18)
The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket
topped with 53 Starlink spacecraft soared into the Florida morning sky from NASA's Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Liftoff was at 6:59 a.m. EDT
SpaceX production manager said
"Falcon 9 has successfully lifted off carrying our 53 Starlink satellites into space,"
The launch marked SpaceX's
third Starlink mission in five days following missions on May 13 and May 14.
About nine minutes after liftoff
the Falcon 9 rocket returned to Earth with a smooth landing on SpaceX's droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean
Starlink is SpaceX's
broadband constellation, which currently consists of more than 2,300 satellites