SpaceX launched two more batches of its Starlink internet satellites overnight (Jan. 28-29), on doubleheader liftoffs from both U.S. coasts.
Another Falcon 9 carried 22 more Starlinks skyward from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Monday at 12:57 a.m. EST (9:57 p.m. local time, and 0557 GMT).
As expected, both Falcon 9's first stages came back to Earth about 8.5 minutes after liftoff for a landing on a SpaceX drone ship stationed at sea.
It was the 18th launch and landing for the booster flying from KSC and was the ninth for the one launching from Vandenberg, according to SpaceX. The company's reuse record is 19 launches, set by a Falcon 9 just last month.
The Falcon 9 upper stages, meanwhile, continued climbing into low Earth orbit to deploy each batch of Starlink satellites a little over an hour after their liftoffs.
These were already the eighth and ninth launches of the year for SpaceX, which has said it's aiming for 144 orbital missions in 2024.
In keeping with that ambitious plan, there's another SpaceX mission right around the corner: A Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch Northrop Grumman's robotic Cygnus cargo craft toward the International Space Station on Tuesday (Jan. 30).
Sunday's Starlink doubleheader began on a somber anniversary. On Jan. 28, 1986, NASA's space shuttle Challenger broke apart less than two minutes after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.
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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com 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.