SpaceX will launch 54 of its Starlink broadband satellites to orbit and land a rocket on a ship at sea on Saturday (Aug. 27), and you’ll watch the motion dwell.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying 54 Starlink spacecraft is scheduled to carry off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida Saturday at 10:22 p.m. EDT (0222 GMT on Aug. 28). Watch it right here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab). Coverage will begin about 5 minutes earlier than liftoff.
Rather less than 9 minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come right down to Earth for a touchdown on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which will probably be stationed within the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.
It would be the second launch and touchdown for this Falcon 9 first stage. The booster additionally helped ship a robotic Dragon cargo capsule towards the International Space Station final December, in keeping with a SpaceX mission description (opens in new tab).
Meanwhile, the Falcon 9’s higher stage will proceed hauling the Starlink satellites skyward, ultimately deploying all 54 them into low Earth orbit quarter-hour and 21 seconds after liftoff,
Saturday night time’s launch would be the thirty eighth of 2022 for SpaceX, extending the corporate’s file for many orbital missions in a calendar 12 months. It would be the twenty fourth mission of the 12 months dedicated to Starlink, SpaceX’s web megaconstellation.
SpaceX has huge plans for Starlink, as that aggressive launch cadence exhibits. On Thursday (Aug. 25), for instance, Elon Musk introduced a cope with T-Mobile to make use of Starlink to beam connectivity directly to smartphones.
That direct-to-handset service is predicted to debut subsequent 12 months. It will make use of Starlink Version 2 satellites, which will probably be a lot greater and extra succesful than the Starlink satellites SpaceX has launched up to now.
Mike Wall is the writer of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a guide in regards to the seek for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).