SpaceX, which was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, successfully launched its first Falcon 9 rocket of the year on Thursday. The launch propelled a new handful of Starlink satellites into orbit from Florida, before the Falcon 9 landed at sea.
The recycled Falcon 9, which has already flown, took off at 4:49 p.m. local time from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida.
Speaking on the launch broadcast, SpaceX engineer Jessie Anderson said, “Falcon 9 has successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, carrying our stack of 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit.”
SpaceX shared a video of the countdown to the rocket being seen take off with the caption: “Take off! “
The tweet has garnered over 10,000 likes and the video has been viewed over 200,000 times.
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Major Jonathan Szul, director of operations for the First Range Operations Squadron at the Cape Canaveral Space Station, commented on the launch on January 4.
He said: “The launch pace of 2022 is going to be exceptionally busy with up to five polar launches and seven launches in total, scheduled for January alone,” he said.
“While three successful polar missions have been launched in the past year and a half, Cape Canaveral has never had five southern course launches in a single month.”
The takeoff marks the start of another important year for the company after a banner year in 2021 when SpaceX set a new record for most launches in a single year with 31 takeoffs.
SpaceX also launched 12 astronauts on three Crew Dragon missions, which included four private citizens who participated as part of the Inspiration4 mission.