The first-stage Falcon 9 booster that lifted 56 new Starlink internet satellites to low Earth orbit was on its ninth mission

SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket lifted its heaviest payload ever into low Earth orbit on Thursday morning (Jan. 26), launching 56 new Starlink internet-beaming satellites.

The Falcon 9 first-stage booster that propelled the mission during its ascent through Earth's atmosphere had been used eight times previously,

including on two crewed missions to the International Space Station (Crew 3 and Crew 4, which launched in November 2021 and April 2022 respectively).

The 56 Starlink satellites, weighing a combined 17.4 metric tonnes (19.4 tons), according to a SpaceX commentator, were protected by a five times reused fairing during the ascent.