SpaceX Falcon 9 launch lights up predawn skies over Florida (photo)

When SpaceX launched its 60th Falcon 9 rocket mission in 2022 before sunrise on Wednesday (December 28), you can bet the photographers were ready for the spectacle.

A Falcon 9 rocket put on a spectacular show by launching 54 new Gen2 Starlink satellites into the predawn sky at 4:34 am EST (0934 GMT) from the Space Force Station at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The new Starlink satellites are the first upgraded versions of the SpaceX constellation.

It was the 11th flight of the Falcon 9 first stage, which took place on Wednesday. The booster has launched several satellites, five previous Starlink missions and carried two private crews of astronauts into space, according to SpaceX. Check out some amazing launch photos taken by launch photographers and SpaceX itself.

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On Dec. 1, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized SpaceX to deploy 7,500 of these Starlink 2.0 satellites in low Earth orbit.

“Our actions will allow SpaceX to begin deploying Gen2 Starlink, which will bring next-generation satellite broadband to Americans across the country, including those who live and work in areas traditionally not served or underserved by terrestrial systems,” FCC officials wrote. in the decision order. here (will open in a new tab). “Our actions will also bring satellite broadband services to the world, helping to bridge the global digital divide.”

Many astronomers have criticized (will open in a new tab) growing mega constellation. They expressed concern that these thousands of spacecraft would interfere with optical and radio observations of the night sky, as well as increase the amount of space debris.

By Dec. 1, the FCC had already given SpaceX permission to deploy 12,000 first-generation Starlink satellites.

Follow Doris Elin Urrutia on Twitter @salazar_elin. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.

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