TECH TALKS

SpaceX celebrates 100th Falcon rocket launch


Elon Musk's rocket company is hustling to get more of its Starlink broadband satellites into orbit. After "Scrubtember" and then "Scrubtober" wreaked havoc with the SpaceX launch schedule, the company sent its 15th batch of orbiting routers aloft from Cape Canaveral in Florida Saturday after the 14th set launched a week ago, reports CNET.

A Falcon 9 rocket boosted the small satellites off the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 40 at 8:31 a.m. PT (11:31 a.m. ET in Florida) and on their way to low-Earth orbit where they'll join over 700 others. SpaceX noted on its webcast of the mission that this marks the 100th successful launch of one of its Falcon family of rockets since 2008.

The first stage booster then returned for a successful landing on the droneship known as Just Read The Instructions, which was waiting in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX plans to use another ship to pluck the nose cone out of the water.

The booster used Saturday was making its third flight -- not quite as experienced as the rocket flown on Sunday's Starlink mission, which launched and landed for the sixth time.