SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 51 of its Starlink satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Monday evening at 8:55 p.m. PDT (11:55 p.m. EDT). This was the first launch of the Starlink satellite internet constellation from the west coast, as well as the first batch of a second stage of the Starlink satellite deployment, targeting a new orbital trajectory that will help the network deliver services to many new regions including northern Canada and parts. from northern Europe.
The launch used a flown Falcon 9 that had already taken on nine other missions, including seven previous Starlink flights. In total, SpaceX has now launched around 1,800 Starlink satellites and has been providing coverage to customers during its beta program for over a year now. The company said in August that it has now shipped around 100,000 terminals to its customers, with more than 90,000 active users on the service today and a full order volume of around 500,000 kits in total.
SpaceX plans to significantly expand the constellation in order to continue to expand the footprint of where the Starlink service is available in the world. Ultimately, it aims to expand the constellation to include nearly 30,000 satellites, which should provide reliable global broadband coverage to customers.
You can watch a full rundown of Monday night’s launch below.