This was the third launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched CRS-26 and OneWeb Launch 16.
There are two versions of Starlink’s second generation of satellites — V2 designed to fly on Starship, and V2 Mini, designed to fly on Falcon 9.
The V2 Minis are smaller than the V2 satellites (hence the name) but don’t let the name fool you — the V2 Minis include more advanced phased array antennas and the use of E-band for backhaul, which will enable Starlink to provide ~4x more capacity per satellite than earlier iterations.
The V2 Minis are also equipped with new argon Hall thrusters for on orbit maneuvering. Developed by SpaceX engineers, they have 2.4x the thrust and 1.5x the specific impulse of our first gen thrusters. This will also be the first time ever that argon Hall thrusters are operated in space.
Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.