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SpaceX extends rocket reuse record on Starlink launch

SpaceX is preparing for another Falcon 9 launch next Sunday, March 21, at 12:37 AM EDT (0437 GMT) with the next batch of Starlink satellites.

SpaceX has launched another set of Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The upper stage deployed its payload of 60 Starlink satellites into orbit 65 minutes later, bringing the size of the broadband internet constellation to 1,260 satellites.

This was the ninth launch and landing of Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously supported the launch of Crew Dragon Demo-1, RADARSAT Constellation, SXM-7, and five Starlink missions.

The launch also set a record for SpaceX for its Falcon 9 rocket reusability programme, since it was the ninth flight and ninth landing for this particular first-stage booster.

SpaceX set its prior reusability record in January this year – another Starlink launch – using this very same refurbished first stage, which had just flown in December of last year before that.

SpaceX not only wants to continue to show that it can re-fly these boosters more and more times, but also that it can turn them around quickly for their next mission, since both speed and volume will have a significant impact on launch costs.

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