A Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch tonight with another batch of satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink internet service. Liftoff from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is scheduled for 12:05 a.m. EDT (0505 UTC).
The 45th Weather Squadron predicted in a weather forecast issued Thursday that there was a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions for a launch. After days of wet and windy weather, skies cleared briefly on Friday before foggy conditions descended on the Space Coast after sunset. If necessary, there are up to five additional launch opportunities from Friday night to Saturday morning. The latest is at 2:59 AM EDT (0759 UTC).
Falcon 9 carries 23 second-generation V2 small satellites and will head on a southeast trajectory after launching from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. After stage separation, about two and a half minutes into the flight, the 1069 rocket, making its 11th flight, will descend toward a landing on the “Read Instructions Only” drone ship that will be stationed about 420 miles (675 km) below. Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas.
This will be SpaceX’s 54th Starlink delivery mission in 2023 and the company’s 84th orbital launch this year. If all goes according to plan, the satellites will be launched into orbit one hour and five minutes after liftoff. SpaceX announced early this year that it had signed up more than 2 million subscribers in more than 60 countries to its Starlink internet service.
It’s a busy weekend for SpaceX with the second test flight of its new Starship scheduled for 7 a.m. CST (8 a.m. EDT (1300 UTC)) and an additional 22 Starlink satellites scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Space Station Force in California on Saturday night. The Starlink 7-7 mission is scheduled to launch from Space Launch Complex 4E at 10:55 p.m. PT (1:55 a.m. EDT/0655 UTC).
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