SpaceX carries out eleventh Starlink mission with its first stage used for a sixth time, one fairing half netted from air

by | Aug 18, 2020 | Constellation, Launches, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

At 1431 GMT on 18 August 2020 SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 carrying 58 Starlink satellite internet units along with three Skysat Earth Observation (EO) small sats into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This marks the eleventh launch in service to the Starlink mega-constellation (10th launch of operational sats following an initial launch of demonstration units).

The Skysat-19, 20 and 21 units were included as a ride share for the American Earth observation company Planet. These units are part of the Sky Satellite Gen 2 constellation which provides 0.5 metre imagery to augment the three metre product of their Dove CubeSats.

The Falcon 9 first-stage (B1049) successfully landed on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You at 1440 GMT. This was the sixth launch and landing for the this reusable first-stage. The attempts to capture both fairing halves were made by the landing net-equipped recovery ships GO Ms. Chief and GO Ms. Tree were only partially successful. Ms. Tree managed to capture one parafoil equipped fairing half in its net but Ms. Chief missed its targeted fairing half and this later had to be fished out of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ms. Tree captures falling fairing half in its net. Courtesy: Elon Musk/Twitter


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