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Booster 1059 makes it's farewell flight

10:59 PM Est, atop a Falcon 9 rocket from SLC-40 at Canaveral Space Force Station


Originally set as the ultimate Valentine, Starlink L19 got delayed one day due to unfavorable weather conditions. There was some love lost, but tonight we lost a lot more than just that. SpaceX Falcon 9 booster 1059, which ironically launched at 10:59 PM Est was lost forever after it failed to land back on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Atlantic Ocean.

This booster was the third most flown in the fleet, and tonight was it's sixth launch. Starting back in December of 2019 for the CRS-19 mission. Next up was the CRS-20 mission where SpaceX launched it’s final first generation Cargo Dragon capsule. That was back in March of 2020. Since then it flew Starlink L8 in June, SAOCOM-1B in August, and lastly the NROL-108 mission in December as the final rocket launch of 2020. It's unfortunate that SpaceX lost a first stage tonight, but with six flights they definitely got their moneys worth. In fact this is the first loss of a booster since March of 2020, that's almost a full year of successful landings for the launch provider.


Tonight’s launch, or L19 coming just after the 18th launch and just before the 17th launch. That’s right Starlink L17 is still sitting at LC-39A. With rumored engine issues SpaceX has said they planned to launch that booster, 1049 later this coming week. This may certainly change though as we know the company likes to take a step back after a mishap like this to examine the issues to hopefully change them from happening again. Weather all around the state has been ugly the last twenty-four hours as severe storms made their way coast to coast. The forecast issued by the 45th Space wing gave us 60% chances of favorable weather conditions, and yet again the company found a bit of luck being able to get the latest batch of their globally providing internet company’s satellites up and away. This was the fifth launch from the Space Coast this year and the 108th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket. Of those 108 launches, this was the 44th landing attempt on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You", by far the most used landing zone in the arsenal SpaceX employees. They have two drone ships on the East coast and LZ-1 which is back on Canaveral Space Force Station. They also have a landing zone on the West coast at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California which sees minimal launches over the last few years.


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