Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches 53 Starlink satellites from California

A SpaceX rocket carried 53 satellites for the Starlink internet constellation into orbit on Friday after blasting off from California.

The Falcon 9 booster lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 3:07 p.m., and minutes later the first stage landed on a droneship in the Pacific Ocean while the second stage continued to orbit low land.

SpaceX then tweeted that the satellites had been successfully deployed.

Starlink is a space system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world.

SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Calif., has hundreds of Starlink satellites orbiting Earth at an altitude of 340 miles (550 kilometers).

SpaceX recently announced that its Starlink internet service will now be available in 32 new countries. He shared an availability map for the service, which showed the countries marked under different segments such as Available, Waiting List and Coming Soon. Most countries in Europe and North America are listed under Available, while some regions in South America are waitlisted, which means Starlink service is ready to ship to those regions. Most of the newly added countries fall under the upcoming category, including all of Africa, South America, and South and Southeast Asia.

Starlink internet service will expand to other countries including India. However, in India, the service has still not received commercial licenses. SpaceX originally planned to launch the service in India and provide full coverage by the end of 2021. The new availability map does not reveal any timelines for countries where the internet service is expected to launch.

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