Starlink 5 (Falcon 9)
Abort: 15 March 2020 | Launch: 18 March 2020
Space Launch Complex 39A
Kennedy Space Center

SpaceX’s sixth launch of 60 Starlink satellites occurred at 8:16 a.m. on 18 March 2020 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. This was the fifth flight for this Falcon 9 first stage which supported the Iridium-7 NEXT mission in July 2018, the SAOCOM 1A mission in October 2018, the Nusantara Satu mission in February 2019, and the second launch of Starlink in November 2019.

Following stage separation, SpaceX attempted to land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean but the attempt failed with the booster landing in the ocean instead. The fairing for this mission previously supported the first launch of Starlink in May 2019. SpaceX’s fairing recovery vessels, “Ms. Tree” and “Ms. Chief,” recovered the two fairing halves from the water with one being damaged.

The Starlink satellites will eventually form a constellation around the Earth providing global satellite-based internet access.

The first Starlink 5 launch attempt at 9:22 a.m. on 15 March 2020 was aborted moments after engine ignition when the onboard computers noted an anomaly in the Falcon 9's first stage propulsion system causing a high power reading. The nine Merlin engines immediately shut down causing a swirl of exhaust clouds around the pad.
LAUNCH | 18 MARCH 2020
Besides the failure of the Falcon 9's landing attempt, one of the nine Merlin engines on the first stage shut down prematurely on ascent causing the other engines to burn for a slightly longer period of time to make up the difference leading to successful orbit insertion of the 60 Starlink satellites.
Vapors form around the rocket as it goes supersonic leading to an interesting light show.
The first stage engines shutdown leading to stage separation and ignition of the second stage as seen in the bottom right hand image above.
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