In its roll-out of its own LEO communications satellite constellation, SpaceX successfully launched another 60 Starlink satellites into low Earth Orbit. The launch took place at 1406 GMT on 29 January 2020 from Cape Canaveral on a Block 5 version of the Falcon 9v1.2 vehicle.
The reusable core stage the launch vehicle (on its third flight) successfully landed on the drone barge “Of Course I Still Love You” at 1415 GMT about 630 km down range in the Atlantic Ocean. The fairing recovery vehicle “Ms Tree” caught one half of the fairing at 1445 GMT, the other half was missed by the fairing recovery vehicle “Ms Chief” but the fairing was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean. The launch had been previously delayed for a few days from 27 January, initially due to upper level winds, and then due to sea state conditions which would have hampered recovery operations.
The 60 satellites launched represent the third batch of fully operational Starlink satellites launched and the fourth batch in total. SpaceX has reserved most of its planned 40 launches this year for Starlink launches.
David Todd contributed to this report