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Falcon 9 launches Starlink satellites; booster landing fails
Posted: Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 6:50 PM ET (2350 GMT)
A Falcon 9 launched another set of Starlink satellites Monday, but the first stage failed to land for the first time in nearly a year. The Falcon 9 lifted off at 10:59 p.m. Eastern from Cape Canaveral and deployed 60 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit 65 minutes later. The first stage, making its sixth flight, did not land on a droneship in the Atlantic as expected. SpaceX did not disclose what caused the failure, which broke a streak of 24 consecutive launches with a successful landing. It's unclear if the failure will delay another Falcon 9 launch scheduled for as soon as shortly after midnight tonight. SpaceX, meanwhile, is expanding beta tests of its Starlink broadband system, even as it faces criticism from some who argue the system isn't proven enough to merit FCC rural broadband subsidies.
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