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SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites from Florida

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SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites from Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches a 26th set of Starlink satellites at 3:01 p.m. Tuesday from Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo by Joe Marino/UPI | License Photo

ORLANDO, Fla., May 4 (UPI) -- Elon Musk's SpaceX launched the company's 26th cluster of Starlink broadband communication satellites from Florida on Tuesday afternoon.

Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket, carrying 60 satellites, occurred as planned at just after 3 p.m. EDT from launchpad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

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SpaceX recovered the first-stage booster of the rocket on a barge in the Atlantic Ocean -- the ninth time for that booster. After a little more than an hour in flight, SpaceX successfully deployed the satellites into their intended orbit.

The launch boosts the number of Starlink satellites in orbit to more than 1,500.

SpaceX is among several companies pursuing new, high-speed and global broadband coverage that could be used by ships at sea, residents in remote rural areas and possibly on trucks and large commercial vehicles.

"To date, over half a million people have placed an order or put down a deposit for Starlink," said SpaceX operations engineer Siva Bharadvaj said during a launch broadcast.

SpaceX is testing the service with customers in North America and Britain at a cost of $499 for hardware and $99 per month.

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