VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lit up the California sky on Thursday evening as it carried 53 Starlink satellites into orbit.
The rocket blasted off from coastal Vandenberg Space Force Base at 6:14 p.m. The launch at twilight left a white plume in the sky that was seen over a large area.
The satellites were later deployed from the rocket’s second stage.
Starlink is a space-based broadband internet system with thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit that provide service around the world.
The Falcon 9′s reusable first stage successfully touched down on a seagoing landing platform in the Pacific Ocean. It was the eighth flight of the booster.