The charm of the sixth time
SpaceX has just broken its own record by reusing a single Falcon first stage for the sixth time.
The rocket was part of the company’s 11th Starlink mission, carrying 58 Internet imagery satellites into orbit, as well as three SkySats for private company Planet, which specializes in Earth imagery. It took off at exactly 10:31 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida.
Then the first stage, dubbed B1049.6, dived effortlessly back to Earth and successfully landed on the “Of course I still love you” drone in the Atlantic.
This is an important step. The previous record, also held by SpaceX, was when the company managed to reuse the same rocket for the fifth time in March .
Today’s successful launch sets the stage for a future launch that could break the record.
The launch also reused a since-refurbished fairing that was salvaged during SpaceX’s fourth Starlink mission.