SpaceX begins launching second-generation Starlink satellites with four times the network capacity

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the first batch of its next-generation Starlink internet satellites as the company upgrades and further builds out its orbiting network.

A Falcon 9 rocket carried 21 of the satellites, known as “V2 Mini” satellites, into orbit on Monday. The satellites represent the first iteration of Starlink’s “Gen2” plans, which the Federal Communications Commission authorized in December.

Musk shared a video of the V2 Mini satellites releasing from the rocket into orbit. While launches of the company’s first-generation models carried about 50 to 60 satellites at a time, the new spacecraft are larger and heavier than before, meaning each Falcon 9 launch carries fewer satellites. The company plans to eventually use its Starship rocket, which is in development, for future second-generation Starlink missions.