SpaceX, which was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, successfully launched its first Falcon 9 rocket of the year on Thursday. The launch rocketed a new handful of Starlink satellites into orbit from Florida, before the Falcon 9 landed at sea.
The recycled Falcon 9, which has been flown previously, blasted off at 4.49 PM local time from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Speaking during the launch broadcast, SpaceX engineer Jessie Anderson said: “Falcon 9 has successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 39 at Kennedy Space Center, carrying our stack of 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit.”
SpaceX shared a video of the countdown before the rocket was seen taking off with the caption: “Liftoff!”
The tweet amassed over 10,000 likes and the video was viewed over 200,000 times.
Maj. Jonathan Szul, director of operations for the First Range Operations Squadron at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, commented on the launch on January 4.
He said: “The 2022 launch pace is going to be exceptionally busy with up to five polar, and seven total launches, projected for the month of January alone,”
“While three polar missions successfully launched in the past year and a half, Cape Canaveral has never had five southern trajectory launches in a single month.”
The blast off marks the beginning to another significant year for the company following a record breaking year in 2021 when SpaceX set a new record for most launches in a single year with 31 liftoffs.
SpaceX also launched 12 astronauts on three Crew Dragon missions, which included four private citizens who participated as part of the Inspiration4 mission.