Update: SpaceX has set a new launch time for today’s Starlink satellite launch. The company is now targeting 6:59 AM EST (1059 GMT)39 minutes late.
SpaceX plans to launch 53 Starlink internet satellites and land the ship’s return rocket at sea early Wednesday morning (May 18), and you can watch all the action live.
two stages Falcon 9 Rocket topped with 53 starlink The spacecraft is scheduled to take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday at 6:59 a.m. EDT (1059 GMT). The first stage of the missile will land on SpaceX Drone A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic about nine minutes after takeoff, if all goes according to plan.
You can watch it unfold here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly through the company. Coverage is expected to begin approximately 10 minutes before takeoff. The live broadcast will end shortly after the booster landing, if the previous Starlink webcast is evidence. So the live coverage likely won’t include the deployment of the Starlink satellites, which is expected to happen about an hour after launch.
Starlink is SpaceX’s broadband constellation, which currently consists of More than 2,300 satellites. This number has been increasing rapidly in recent times; SpaceX launched 20 missions already in 2022, 13 of which were intended for Starlink flights.
But the Starlink population could get really huge in the not too distant future; The next generation version of the constellation may eventually consist of Up to 30,000 satellites.
Wednesday’s mission will be the fifth for this first stage of Falcon 9. This reuse is a priority for SpaceX and its founder and CEO, Elon Muskwho sees rapid and frequent return of light as the key breakthrough needed to make ambitious exploration feats such as settling Mars economically feasible.
SpaceX has landed in the early stages of Falcon 9 113 times during orbital missions so far and has re-landed boosters on 92 occasions. According to the company’s website.
Mike Wall is the author of “AbroadBook (Great Grand Publishing House, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book on the search for extraterrestrials. Follow him on Twitter Tweet embed. Follow us on Twitter Tweet embed or on Facebook.
“Twitteraholic. Total bacon fan. Explorer. Typical social media practitioner. Beer maven. Web aficionado.”