SpaceX loses Falcon 9 rocket on landing in first of two Starlink missions

SpaceX After successfully sending another batch of its Starlink broadband satellites into orbit Monday night from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, SpaceX appears to have missed the landing of its Falcon 9 first stage booster for the first time in a year.

On the livestream of the mission, a flash is seen just to the side of the droneship at the moment the booster should be landing, although no rocket ever enters the frame.

In the process, it appears to have spared three seagulls that were hanging out on the landing pad and may never understand how close they came to being barbecued.

The apparent hard water landing comes almost exactly a year after the same thing happened at the end of an earlier Starlink mission on Feb. 17, 2020.

The 20th batch of satellites is set to blast off from adjacent Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday at 9:55 p.m. PT (12:55 a.m. Wednesday ET).

The company had planned to launch two batches of Starlinks from Florida within hours of each other earlier this month, but one of these missions was postponed.

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