Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched 60 of its own ‘Starlink’ mega-constellation satellites into orbit on the evening of January 6th (at 9.19pm Florida time, 0219 GMT).
The Falcon 9 rocket – which was a 3-times pre-flown version – then totally nailed its mission when it landed after deploying its important cargo onto the landing barge ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ downrange.
This places SpaceX into the record books at a number of levels. SpaceX’s Starlink is now operating the largest fleet of satellites in orbit. The – now routine – textbook landing is yet another record and is the 48th such recovery.
This fourth use of the Falcon 9 booster is another record. This current version of the rocket has been designed to be flown at up to 10 times with minimal refurbishment in-between flights.