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.
"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."
Deployment of 52 Starlink satellites confirmed— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 24, 2022
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.
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."
"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."
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 launches 52 Starlink satellites to orbit pic.twitter.com/A4eGu4lmz0— SpaceX (@SpaceX) September 25, 2022
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org to send a tip.
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