Tonight's mission was SpaceX's 80th orbital launch of 2023. The majority of those flights have been devoted to building out the Starlink megaconstellation, which beams internet service down to customers around the world.
There are currently more than 5,000 operational Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.
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.