SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites; loses booster
February 16, 2021
Early on February 16th, SpaceX lifted another batch of 60 Starlink satellites from Launch pad 40 at Kennedy Space Center, but did not successfully land the booster rocket. The booster landed in the Atlantic close to its target barge some 400 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral.
This was the first time since March 2020 that SpaceX has lost a booster rocket having achieved 24 successful landings in the meantime. It was the 6th flight for this particular booster rocket.
Observers suggest that the failed landing was not unexpected given that SpaceX has been trying to land – and launch – in more and more difficult conditions.
This was SpaceX’s 19th Starlink mission, and takes the total number of broadband satellites in orbit to more than 1100.
It is also expected that SpaceX will launch again within a few days.