Success for 17th Starlink launch
January 21, 2021
By Chris Forrester
SpaceX launched another 60 of its Starlink satellites into orbit on January 20th at 08.02am Florida time (13.02 GMT).
It was the 17th mission for the Starlink team and went flawlessly. It is also the first launch for Starlink this year, but it is expected that another launch of 10 satellites will follow over the next few days.
The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster supporting this mission previously flew on seven other missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX landed the Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship despite some rough weather and which was located downrange on the Atlantic Ocean.
It is expected that SpaceX will examine this booster and assuming all is well use the rocket for a 9th launch in the future. It is widely expected that SpaceX is targeting a 10th flight for a booster this year.
The 60 Starlink satellites were successfully deployed and takes the launch total to well over 1000. Data from independent observers says that 1015 Starlink craft have now been launched with 952 still in orbit and at least 934 working nominally.