SpaceX teams at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station are preparing to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the latest batch of Starlink internet satellites. The launch is scheduled for Thursday night from Launch Complex 40. Although SpaceX has not officially confirmed the mission, navigational warnings indicate a launch window open from 8:30 p.m. to 1:02 a.m. EDT on Friday.
After liftoff, the Falcon 9 first stage booster will attempt a drone ship landing out at sea. Weather forecasters from the Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron have predicted a 65% chance of favorable conditions for the launch at the spaceport, with moderate risk conditions for the booster landing.
The 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket is expected to carry dozens of Starlink internet satellites in its payload fairing. If the launch proceeds as scheduled, it will be the 49th launch from the Space Coast this year.
The weather outlook for the launch includes a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 11 p.m. around the spaceport, according to the National Weather Service. SpaceX is closely monitoring Hurricane Lee, a Category 3 hurricane, as it moves off the coast of Florida, which could potentially impact the drone ship landing in the Bahamas.
The mission will take place at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Launch Complex 40. The Falcon 9 rocket will follow a southeasterly trajectory, passing between Florida and the Bahamas. The first-stage booster will attempt a landing on a drone ship approximately eight minutes after liftoff.
More Starlink missions are planned to be launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the coming week, although no specific dates have been announced yet. SpaceX continues to push the boundaries of space exploration and the advancement of telecommunications technology.