SpaceX originally planned on launching its Starlink mission on Wednesday night, reserving a solid 1.5-hour launch window for its Falcon 9 to take off, and eventually deploy a whopping 60 tiny satellites into Earth orbit. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions that were less than ideal, the launch was scrubbed and the mission had to be pushed back.
The good news is that the rescheduled launch window happens to be tonight, and if all goes well we’ll get to see SpaceX launch its suite of satellites sometime between 10:30 p.m. EDT and midnight. You can watch the launch live right here.
The Starlink mission is part of SpaceX’s attempt to build a massive communications network that will allow for high-speed internet access in remote areas that aren’t normally serviced. The network is going to need a whole bunch of satellites in order to work, and that’s why the company has packed a full 60 individual spacecraft into a single launch.
As with all SpaceX missions, the company will be live streaming the event from start to finish. SpaceX staff will be providing commentary on the launch, the status of the rocket, and following the Falcon 9’s booster as it returns to Earth for a landing attempt on SpaceX’s drone ship.
Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Approximately one hour and two minutes after liftoff, the Starlink satellites will begin deployment at an altitude of 440km. They will then use onboard propulsion to reach an operational altitude of 550km.
SpaceX’s previous launch attempt was called off due to high-level winds, and while we won’t know for sure what conditions will be present for the launch attempt tonight, the company will have another 1.5-hour launch window to work with.