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SpaceX launches 22nd cluster of Starlink satellites

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UPIStaff
Thickening fog forms around a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as it launches its 22nd set of Starlink satellites at 6:01 a.m. Sunday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI
Thickening fog forms around a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket as it launches its 22nd set of Starlink satellites at 6:01 a.m. Sunday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

March 14 (UPI) -- SpaceX launched its 22nd cluster of Starlink communication satellites before dawn Sunday from Florida.

Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket came at 6:01 a.m. EDT, just hours after clocks move ahead for Daylight Saving Time, from Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

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After the main engine cutoff, the Falcon 9 first stage landed on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship, completing the ninth flight of that booster

A little more than an hour after launch, SpaceX confirmed the satellites had been released into their initial orbit.

The company has kept up a regular cadence of Starlink launches since the first mission in 2019. Sunday's launch follows another successful trip to orbit for the broadband Internet spacecraft Thursday.

SpaceX has little room for delays on Starlink launches because the company targets a specific orbital location for each mission.

The launch came as SpaceX seeks to beam Starlink service to terminals on trucks, boats and aircraft -- in addition to the current home and office setups. The company has sought approval from the Federal Communications Commission for such vehicular service.

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Starlink broadband is available through a test program to a limited number of users in regions including the United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

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