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Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches 53 StarLink satellites from California

The SpaceX rocket launched 53 satellites into orbit for the StarLink Internet Constellation on Friday after it exploded from California.

The Falcon 9 booster took off from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 3:07 pm, and minutes later the first stage landed on a drone in the Pacific Ocean, while the second stage continued towards low Earth orbit.

SpaceX later tweeted that the satellites had been successfully deployed.

StarLink is a space-based system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring Internet access to lesser parts of the world.

Hawthorne, California SpaceX has hundreds of StarLink satellites orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 340 miles (550 km).

SpaceX recently announced that its Star‌link Internet service will now be available in 32 new countries. It shares a availability map for the service, which shows the countries identified under different categories such as Available, Waitlist and Upcoming. Most countries in Europe and North America are available, but some parts of South America are on the waitlist, meaning the StarLink service is read to ship to these areas. Most of the newly added countries fall under the upcoming category, including Africa, South America and South and Southeast Asia.

StarLink Internet service will be extended to more countries, including India. However, in India, the service is not yet commercially licensed. SpaceX originally planned to launch the service in India and provide full coverage by the end of 2021. The new availability map does not disclose the timelines for the countries where the Internet service is said to be launched.

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