A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida early Friday, carrying 57 Starlink satellites for the company's internet satellite constellation system.
The rocket also carried two spacecraft for Spaceflight customer BlackSky. Shortly after releasing those satellites, and about an hour-and-a-half after launch, the spacecraft released the bundle of Starlink Satellites. It was the tenth batch of such satellites launched by the company.
With Friday's launch, SpaceX has deployed nearly 600 Starlink satellites in a rapidly expanding fleet of spacecraft designed to provide high-speed internet transmission to users anywhere in the world. Service in the northern United States and Canada is expected to start later this year.
The first stage of the rocket returned to earth as planned after launch, with a clean landing on a drone ship.
Friday's launch marked a busy week for the commercial space company. On Sunday the Crew Dragon capsule splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, bringing two NASA astronauts back to Earth from the International Space Station. The flight was the first to orbit NASA astronauts from U.S. soil since the space shuttle was retired in 2011.
Two days later, SpaceX engineers in Boca Chica, Texas, carried out the first up-and-down test flight of a prototype upper stage for the company's planned heavy-lift Starship rocket system.