"Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean", SpaceX stated in a mission overview.
SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk said one of the nine main engines shut down prematurely during liftoff, a rare occurrence.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
It's worth pointing out, however, that SpaceX originally scrubbed this Falcon 9 Starlink launch at the last second during its planned Sunday mission window, due to engine power readings that were above expected numbers. Musk did not address if the engine outage was influential in SpaceX's inability to recover the booster, which was completing its fifth reflight - the highest SpaceX has attempted. But the satellites still made it to the proper orbit, increasing the Starlink constellation to about 360.
More than 60 satellites reached orbit, despite an engine cutout during the flight. That's due in part to the redundancy built into the design of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which uses 9 Merlin engines working together.
The first 60 satellites of the system was launched in may 2019. Neither mission using that modified profile has been successful, however. A satellite now in orbit has a non-reflective coating that makes it notably less visible, but the company is embarking on a new experiment to install a sunshade on a satellite for an upcoming launch.
According to SpaceX, the launch is scheduled to take place on March 18 at 8:16 am EDT. Approximately 45 minutes after liftoff, SpaceX's fairing recovery vessels, "Ms. Tree" and 'Ms. "Possibly, but not obviously, related to today", Musk said.
This is the sixth batch of Starlinks that SpaceX has launched in under a year. While the fourth launch was aborted and will be rescheduled to another date, SpaceX has plans to launch more Starlink satellites to expand the network of satellites.