April 22nd Starlink's 7th Launch for the 6th Starlink mission
Updated: Jun 28, 2020
3:30 pm EST atop a Falcon 9 from SLC-39A at Kennedy Space Station, Fl.
Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic SpaceX has sent up another batch of Starlink Satellites, making that 422 total launched for those keeping score at home. Also as this was the seventh overall launch for Starlink, it was officially the sixth mission, as the first was considered a test. Confusing we know, but SpaceX has at least 18 more Starlink launches so we will do our best to keep track of the mission numbers and names.
In a rare move in the space industry this launch was also moved up a day. Most of us are used to hearing about launches being delayed and having to rearrange our travel plans for the future, but SpaceX made the decision to move up the launch by a day due to more favorable launch and landing conditions as foul weather is expected in the area at the original launch day and the days following. Today's launch also marks the 84th flight for the Falcon 9 rocket. Previously tied with ULA's Atlas V it marks and impressive achievement considering the Atlas V debuted roughly 7 years before the Falcon 9.
Today's booster, 1051 earned it's .4 as well, meaning it has launched and landed four times now. It's one of the few boosters in space flight history to make the trip four times, and it also is the first booster to launch from all SpaceX sites in the United States. It's first mission was the DM-1 mission just over a year ago, and most recently it took a hard landing on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" and concern was raised about its re use capabilities. Today however showed the level engineering of SpaceX on it's ability to re use first stage rocket boosters.