The payload for this space equivalent from an Uber toincludes a plethora of small satellites from government and commercial entities, along with 10 of SpaceX’s own broadband satellites. In total, the company says there are 143 small spacecraft on board, which it claims is a record.
About nine minutes after the payload and second stage ramped up en route to space, the first stage booster returned for an accurate landing on the SpaceX droneship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic.
In the weeks leading up to launch, there was some last-minute shift after two DARPA satellites were accidentally damaged at a processing facility earlier this month. The Starlink satellites were also a last minute addition. The payload includes several small spacecraft from Nanoracks and more from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the US Department of Defense, and many others.
The launch was originally scheduled for December, but was delayed a few times, including from Saturday, when it again pushed it back to Sunday.
The Falcon 9 booster made its fifth flight and landing of its career. Most we’ve seen from a Falcon 9 so far is eight flights.
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