SpaceX successfully launched the latest batch of Starlink internet satellites earlier today, carrying another 48 satellites to join the massive constellation that provides internet access around the world. This marks the company’s 10th such launch in as many week, as the two stage Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Florida, USA at 1545 GMT. The first stage of the rocket returned to Earth shortly after, allowing it be reused.
Shortly before the Falcon 9 launch, SpaceX’s launch director issued a thinly veiled jab at Putin and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency.
He said: “Time to let the American broomstick fly and hear the sounds of freedom.”
This remark is believed to be a response to Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin, who promised to block the US from using Russian rocket engines after the US hit Moscow with tough sanctions.
Speaking to state television, Mr Rogozin said: “In a situation like this we can’t supply the United States with our world’s best rocket engines.
“Let them fly on something else, their broomsticks, I don’t know what.”
As a response to this, SpaceX boss Elon Musk taunted Mr Rogozin’s announcement by posting a video of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launching another 47 Starlink satellite into orbit.
He also tweeted out the phrase “American broomsticks”.
Since Putin invaded Ukraine two weeks ago, Mr Musk has found himself at loggerheads with the Russian administration.
Responding to a call to aid from Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, Mr Musk activated his Starlink satellites over Ukraine.
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