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SpaceX launches 22 Starlink satellites from California


SpaceX launched 22 Starlink internet satellites to orbit from California on Sunday (Oct. 29), on the first of two planned missions for the day.


A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from California's Vandenberg Space Force Base on Sunday at 5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT; 2 a.m. local California time).


The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth for a vertical landing about 8.5 minutes after launch on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, which was stationed in the Pacific Ocean.


It was the seventh launch and landing for this rocket's first stage, according to the mission description.


The 22 Starlink satellites, meanwhile, were scheduled to deploy from the Falcon 9's upper stage about 62.5 minutes after liftoff.


Sunday morning's launch is scheduled to be the first of a doubleheader for SpaceX. The company also plans to loft 23 Starlink craft from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Sunday at 7:45 p.m. EDT (2345 GMT).


The Starlink broadband megaconstellation is ever-growing, as these two missions show. There are currently about 4,900 operational Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, and SpaceX has permission to deploy about 12,000 of the craft.


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