A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is set to launch tonight carrying another batch of satellites for the company’s Starlink internet service. The launch is scheduled to take place from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 11 p.m. EDT (0400 UTC).
Weather conditions for the launch are expected to be acceptable, with a 60-percent chance of clear skies predicted by the 45th Weather Squadron. There are also backup launch opportunities available throughout the night if necessary, with the final opportunity scheduled for 2:59 a.m. EST (0759 UTC).
The Falcon 9 rocket will carry 23 second-generation V2 mini satellites and will follow a south-easterly trajectory after liftoff. About two and a half minutes into the flight, the booster 1069, which is on its 11th flight, will attempt to land on the drone ship “Just Read the Instructions” stationed in the Atlantic east of the Bahamas.
This launch marks SpaceX’s 54th Starlink delivery mission this year and the company’s 84th orbital launch overall. If all goes as planned, the satellites will be deployed into orbit approximately one hour and five minutes after liftoff.
Earlier this year, SpaceX announced that it had already signed up over two million subscribers from more than 60 countries for its Starlink internet service.
In addition to this mission, SpaceX has a busy weekend ahead. The second test flight of the new Starship vehicle is scheduled for 7 a.m. CST (8 a.m. EST/1300 UTC), and another 22 Starlink satellites are set to launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Saturday night.