Watch: Elon Musk’s SpaceX Launches 46 Starlink Satellites In One Day
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station carrying the 29th batch of approximately 60 satellites as part of SpaceX's Starlink broadband internet network.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Elon Musk‘s SpaceX Falcon 9 launched 46 Starlink satellites into space on Sunday.

The successful launch was streamed live from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base, with the Falcon 9 landing on a ship at sea.

The launch marked the 50th dedicated mission for the Starlink internet project. Starlink’s new satellites began deploying approximately one hour after liftoff.

The Falcon 9 broke through the marine cloud layer and sound barrier in approximately one minute, the live video of the launch revealed. Following the end of the first stage, the rocket’s nine Merlin engines separated with the upper stage continuing into orbit.

The booster descended back to Earth where it made its landing on a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean. The particular booster used in the launch, the B1063, marked its sixth flight as part of the SpaceX reusable rocket fleet.

The Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital-class rocket capable of reflight. First launched in 2012, the Falcon 9 has made more than 120 landings and can transport satellites and humans. In April, the Falcon 9 transported American and European astronauts to the International Space Station.

The satellites join approximately 2,500 Starlink devices already in space. SpaceX has approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch around 12,000 satellites. A future launcher from the company, called Starship, is expected to transport hundreds of satellites in a single launch.

According to, SpaceX has also applied internationally for permission to launch an additional 30,000 satellites.

The vast number of satellites has led to concerns about considering a new approach to space sustainability and safety. Starlink describes itself on its website as “meeting or exceeding all regulatory and industry standards.”

Satellites are designed to “utilize their on-board propulsion system to deorbit over the course of a few months,” according to its website. In addition, any inoperable satellites will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within one to five years.

Starlink satellites are designed to provide high-speed internet to remote and rural locations worldwide. The service has also found interest among airlines looking for improved in-flight internet services.

In April, Musk signed a deal with Hawaiian Airlines to provide internet services using Starlink. The agreement made the transportation company the first U.S. airline to sign up for the service.

Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of Starlink commercial sales at SpaceX, said in a statement that Hawaiian Airlines “was ensuring its passengers will experience high-speed internet the way we expect it in the 21st century, making hassles like downloading movies before takeoff a relic of the past.”

Musk also made headlines in February when he provided Starlink satellite broadband service to Ukraine to offer access to the internet as Russian military forces invaded the country.

Musk provided the internet services after seeing a tweet from Mykhailo Fedorov, the vice prime minister of Ukraine, who wrote: “@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”

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