A SpaceX Falcon 9 with 53 Starlink satellites launches from the Cape Canaveral Space Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Thursday. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
April 21 (UPI) -- A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Thursday, carrying another 53 Starlink Internet satellites into space.
The rocket lifted off at 1:51 p.m. from Launch Complex 40 after a 3-hour delay due to strong winds. It was the 43rd launch related to the Starlink project.
SpaceX said the first-stage booster of the Falcon 9 rocket landed on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship at sea about 10 minutes after liftoff. It was the record-tying 12th launch and landing of the booster.
In March, another Falcon 9 rocket was used for the 12th time to send an earlier group of Starlink satellites into orbit.
The Falcon 9's second stage deployed all 53 satellites into initial parking orbit about an hour after launch, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter.
Florida Today reported the second-stage booster should re-enter at Port Canaveral.
SpaceX has launched more than 2,300 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit since it first launched the megaconstellation project in 2019.
The satellites provide Internet access to more than two dozen countries, including Ukraine, where SpaceX sent a shipment of Starlink terminals to assist the country during the Russian invasion.
Space.com reported that nine of SpaceX's 15 missions this year have been dedicated to sending Starlink satellites to space, and the next generation of the project could send up to 30,000 satellites.