Cape Canaveral, Fla.. SpaceX Will launch its next big batch of Starlink Satellite Today (sept 28) in class for the company’s growing megaconstellation, and you can watch the action online.
The Hawthorne, California-based company will open 60 Starlink Internet satellites on its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket From NASA’s historic Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 10:22 am EDT (1422 GMT).
You can do this Watch launch here And on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of SpaceX, about 15 minutes before liftoff. You can also Watch launch directly via SpaceX.
related: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite launches in megaconstellation photos
Today’s flight, referred to as Starlink 12 by SpaceX, is actually the 13th large batch of satellites the company has shot in space. However, the company Systematically de-orbiting its initial batch of 60 satellites Which was launched in May 2019. That’s because SpaceX meant that initial bunch to become a test series. Thus far, 26 of the original satellites have been disbanded, eight are in rotating orbits, and 26 are operational.
SpaceX hopes to provide high-speed Internet access to users around the world via StarLink megaconstellation. Using a small terminal (no larger than a laptop), users on the ground will be able to connect to the ever-growing network. Founder and CEO of SpaceX Elon Musk Has stated that the company needs to launch between 500 and 800 satellites to launch the service.
To date, SpaceX has launched more than 700 Internet-beaming satellites into orbit, in an effort to fill its planned initial constellations of 1,440 spacecraft. SpaceX has already begun speed-testing its space-based Internet service, and preliminary data looks promising. Engineers at the company have said that the data collected so far indicates that the service will provide faster download speeds, allowing users to stream multiple HD movies at the same time.
Starlink broadband internet is in a private beta-testing phase right now, but it will be available to the public to begin beta-testing later this year, representatives from SpaceX have said.
related: SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites and land rockets at night time fluctuations
Today’s launch marks the 94th flight in total for SpaceX’s workhorse two-stage Falcon 9 rocket. Weightlifting features an experienced Falcon 9 first stage named B1058, which has two flights under its belt. This frequent flyer was first launched NASA’s two astronauts A trip to the space station as well as A. Communication satellite For the South Korean Army.
It has become common to fly SpaceX’s first flying boosters, as the company continues to prove the Falcon 9’s reliability. SpaceX is both a launch provider as well as a customer for its StarLink missions, and as such has maintained a rapid launch speed this summer, relying too heavily on its fleet of flight-proven boosters.
In fact, this mission marks the 17th flight of 2020 for SpaceX, with Falcon 9 grossing Title of the highest flying American rocket Earlier this year – a main competitor, Atlas V of the United Launch Alliance.
To date, SpaceX has successfully launched its first-stage booster 60 times. Now that the company has two fully powered drone-ship landing platforms – “Course of I Still Love You” and “Just Read the Instructions” – in Florida, it is able to launch (and land) more rockets. The new drone ship on the block, “Just Read the Instructions”, is already in the recovery zone, waiting for its turn to capture the B1058, when it returns to Earth this afternoon.
related: Why SpaceX’s Starlink satellites caught astronomers off guard
This is SpaceX’s second attempt to land the mission. On 17 September the previous attempt was called off due to inclement weather in the recovery zone.
This year the activity in the Atlantic Ocean is very busy, with many storm systems developing. One such system, Hurricane Paulette, continues to churn the seas so that the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” cannot stabilize itself enough to catch the returning boosters. So SpaceX decided to stand down from its original launch effort and wait for calm seas.
The delay worked in favor of SpaceX because it brought fair weather and cool weather. Predictors of the 45th Weather Squadron today predicted a 70% probability of favorable launch conditions. The only issue was the possible development of Cumulus clouds.
SpaceX will continue its tradition of fixing Falcon 9’s payload fairing, or nose cone, in today’s flight. The company has already deployed its twin net-equipped boats – called Go Miss Tree and Go Miss Chief – to halt parts of the fair as they return to Earth in two pieces.
Each piece of clamshell-like hardware, which costs about $ 6 million combined, is built with software that navigates it into the recovery zone, and a parachute system that allows them to move slowly to the sea or the exterior of GO Ms. Tree Lets get into the trap and go Ms. Chief.
Some pieces of fairing have already flown twice on this mission, protecting two different Starlink payloads – one in May 2019 and one in March 2020.
editor’s Note: Originally posted on September 17, this story has been updated for SpaceX’s new September 28 launch date.
Follow Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.