SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, successfully recovers Dragon booster.
Missed the live broadcast so watched the archived copy. SpaceX put another 60 Starlink sats into their constellation which will provide worldwide internet access. Link to video of the launch is at the end of this post.
Previous missions lifted 362 satellites, so adding these 60 makes 422 by my count.
This is the fourth flight for the booster and the second flight for one of the fairings.
The booster was successfully recovered. SpaceX will try to pull the two fairings out of the water in order to reuse them.
The visuals continue to be astounding. There is good tracking from the ground until first stage separation. Visual from inside top of first stage and of the engine from the second stage is amazing for the separation. Feed from first stage as it descends is a delight. Camera on droneship showed the booster landing successfully. Finally, a different camera on the second stage showed the 60 sats deploying after previously showing the fairings separating.
If you have any recollection of the grainy shots from those incredible Apollo trips, you will be staggered by the quality of video feed today.
The Starlink satellites weigh in at 260kg according to the mission profile sheet.. At the end of their life cycle, they will de-orbit using their onboard thrusters. These sats are designed to completely burn up in reentry.
Goal for the system is to provide service to Canada and the northern US this year with close to global coverage in 2021.
The full launch video: