SpaceX launched its 10th Falcon 9 rocket this year, setting the pace for what will likely be a record-breaking year for the company and on Florida's Space Coast.
A Falcon 9 rocket rumbled into the sky at 8:45 a.m. Wednesday with 48 Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at Space Launch Complex 40. Re-watch the launch and landing at the top of this story.
Weather on Wednesday morning is looking pleasant for liftoff, according to the Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron forecast. The primary concern for a launch weather violation was the cumulus cloud rule.
After launch, SpaceX landed the rocket booster in the Atlantic Ocean. This particular booster has already launched three unrelated missions to space for SpaceX customers. The booster touched down on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship in the Atlantic Ocean about 8 minutes after launching.
SpaceX has been busy in the first three months of the year. Wednesday's launch is the 10th Falcon 9 mission this year and the second in a week. Last Thursday, the company launched another batch of Starlink spacecraft.
Elon Musk's company will continue launching Starlink satellites at a rapid cadence as it builds the constellation of spacecraft to beam internet to anywhere in the world, even remote communities. Musk recently said that more than 250,000 Starlink user terminal orders had been fulfilled.
Musk recently sent a shipment of Starlink user terminals to Ukraine to help with communication issues after Russia invaded.
Last week, the head of Roscosmos, Russia's space program, said the country would no longer sell its rocket engines to American companies in response to U.S. sanctions. The official said Americans could fly on their "broomsticks." SpaceX does not rely on Russia's RD-180 engines, and Musk responded with a quip on social media calling the Falcon 9 an "American broomstick."
During the final second of the countdown Wednesday, the launch director referenced the comment.
"Time to let the American broomstick fly and hear the sound of freedom. LD is go for launch."