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SpaceX completes first RideShare mission with Starlink launch

Starlink-7 Launch, 6-3-2020 // Photo SpaceX

Early this morning at 5:21am EDT, SpaceX successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral, FL with the 8th batch of Starlink satellites, with a few different ones hitching a ride!

On this launch, only 58 Starlink satellites were launched, which is different from the usual 60. 2 Satellites were removed to make room for 3 SkySat satellites by Planet Labs as a part of SpaceX's RideShare program.

The fairings and first stage have previously been launched before. The first stage previously supported the CRS-19 and CRS-20 missions and has successfully landed on their droneship "Of Course I Still Love You" (OCISLY) stationed out in the Atlantic Ocean.

The fairing halves both flew on different missions, one half was launched on the JCSAT-18 mission and the other half flew on Starlink-2 back in January.

Something also unique with this mission, no static fire was completed prior to launch. Before every launch, the Falcon 9 would roll out to the pad and fire up its 9 Merlin engines quickly to ensure all engines are working nominally. For this mission, the rocket rolled out to the pad and launched successfully without performing a static fire, for the first time.



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