A SpaceX rocket carried 52 Starlink internet satellites into orbit from California early on Saturday.
The two-stage Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from coastal Vandenberg Space Force Base at 4:41am and passed over the Pacific.
The Falcon’s first stage returned and landed on a SpaceX droneship in the ocean.
It was the 11th launch and recovery of the stage.
Deployment of 52 Starlink satellites confirmed— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 18, 2021
The second stage continued into orbit and deployment of the satellites was confirmed, said launch commentator Youmei Zhou at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
Starlink is a satellite-based global internet system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world.
Saturday’s mission was the 34th launch for Starlink, a constellation of nearly 2,000 satellites in low Earth orbit.
SpaceX also was scheduled to launch a Turkish communications satellite from Florida on Saturday.