SpaceX sets rocket booster record
March 15, 2021
By Chris Forrester
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster made its 9th flight on March 14th (at 06.01 Florida time, 10.01 GMT) from the Kennedy Space Center.
This 9th use of the same booster is another record-breaking achievement for the SpaceX and Starlink teams. Another 60 Starlink satellites were placed into orbit on this, the 22nd batch of Starlink satellites lofted into space.
The event was the 8th successive launch this year for SpaceX.
This particular booster last flew on January 20th and SpaceX’s engineers took just 53 days to examine the booster and its 9 Merlin engines and to refurbish where needed. This is not the fastest turnaround (which was a 38-day turnaround between Starlink flights 7 and 8) but shows how ultra-reliable the SpaceX reusable concept is.
This batch takes the overall total of Starlinks in orbit to more than 1300.
This past week has seen Starlink extend its coverage and invite subscriptions from Germany and New Zealand for the first time, and in addition to the UK where it has “expanded” its existing service.