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Did you see that strange light in the sky Saturday?

Posted at 9:08 PM, Sep 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-24 22:37:35-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- That strange light you saw in the sky Saturday evening was not a meteor or UFO, but a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched from Florida and then landed on a "drone ship" in the ocean off the South Carolina coast.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with 52 Starlink satellites just after 7:30 p.m. from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

"The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched SES-22 and two Starlink missions," officials with SpaceX wrote. "Following stage separation, the first stage will land on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean."

Just after 7:40 p.m., the rocket landed on the "drone ship" off the coast of South Carolina, according to Florida Today.

The 52 Starlinks satellites, which provide internet service for people around the globe, were deployed by the rocket's upper stage.

Nearly 3,400 Starlink satellites have been lofted with plans in the works to launch thousands more, according to Space.com.

Screen Shot 2022-09-24 at 9.09.33 PM.png
The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off at 7:32 p.m. Saturday.

BONUS: Watch the launch and landing of the Falcon 9 rocket

WTVR CBS 6 received dozens of emails and messages on social media Saturday evening about strange light in the sky. Some believed what they had seen was an asteroid or meteor.

"Meteor spotted in 23112!!!" one man wrote to CBS 6. "Just happened 7:39 p.m."

Falcon 9 Rocket
Falcon 9 Rocket

"I took this photo and video from my backyard in Mechanicsville 15 minutes ago," Derek Larimer wrote. "What in the world is it?"

Ashley Nixon spotted the rocket in Dillwyn.

"Do you know what the shooting star like phenomenon was in the sky tonight?" Nixon wrote. "Heard it was seen as far as OBX."

Falcon 9 Rocket
Falcon 9 Rocket

Shannon O'Connell said she spotted the rocket in the sky above Hanover at 7:39 p.m.

One woman said she was scared by the strange sight.

"My kids were like, 'Is that a bomb?!'" she wrote. "Well that was scary!!! Thanks for the info."

Falcon 9 Rocket
Falcon 9 Rocket

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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