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SpaceX launches and lands 3rd rocket in 36 hours

SpaceX just completed a remarkable spaceflight tripleheader.

A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Sunday (June 19) at 12:27 a.m. EDT (0427 GMT), carrying a communications satellite for the Louisiana-based company Globalstar to orbit.

Ten minutes after liftoff, the rocket's first stage came back to Earth for a vertical landing on the SpaceX droneship Just Read The Instructions, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast. The satellite was deployed into orbit about 1 hour and 50 minutes after launch as planned, SpaceX tweeted (opens in new tab).

Related: The 20 most memorable SpaceX missions

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches a communications satellite for the company Globalstar on June 19, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX)

It was the third mission for SpaceX in just over 36 hours. The company launched 53 of its Starlink internet satellites on Friday (June 17) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and lofted a radar satellite for the German military from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Saturday (June 18).

The first stage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket comes down for a landing at sea on June 19, 2022, after launching a communications satellite for the company Globalstar. It was the ninth landing for this booster. (Image credit: SpaceX)

The Friday mission set a new rocket-reuse record for SpaceX; the Falcon 9 that flew it featured a first stage that already had 12 launches under its belt. (Sunday's launch was the ninth for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, according to a SpaceX mission description (opens in new tab).)

SpaceX has really ratcheted up its launch pace this year, even before the trifecta. Sunday morning's liftoff was the the company's 26th of 2022, and the year isn't even half over yet. 

Editor's note: This story was updated at 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) on June 19 with news of successful launch and rocket landing, then again at 1 p.m. GMT (1700 GMT) with news of satellite deployment.

Mike Wall is the author of "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).  

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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com (opens in new tab) and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.