SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is ready for liftoff. Similar rockets will launch 53 Starlink satellites to orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on November 12, 2021.
CAPE CANAVERAL (Fla.) -- SpaceX will launch its first Starlink broadband satellites from the East Coast Friday morning (Nov. 12, 2012). You can live stream the action online.
Private spaceflight company Starlink will launch 53 Starlink satellites from one of its rockets, a Falcon 9 called B1062. For its fourth mission, the frequent flier will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 7:40 AM EST (1240 GMT).
SpaceX has made it possible to live-stream the launch on this page and the Space.com homepage. About 15 minutes prior to liftoff, a livestream will be available. SpaceX and YouTube also allow you to view the launch live.
Photos of the launch of SpaceX's Starlink satellite megaconstellation by SpaceX
Friday's Falcon 9 flight marks the 25th Falcon 9 mission by SpaceX in 2021. SpaceX also announced that this flight marks the second Starlink launch in May. SpaceX had paused launches for four months to allow the satellites to be able to communicate via laser links. This will reduce the constellation's dependence on Earth. SpaceX launched its first polar-oriented batch from its California-based launchpad in September.
It will also mark the 128th flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9 booster (229 feet tall, 70 meters), and, if everything goes according to plan, the 94th recovery from a Falcon 9 first-stage booster booster since December 2015.
Tomorrow's Starlink 31 mission, which is the second batch of upgraded satellites that SpaceX has launched, will be the first of the SpaceX satellite launches. It will increase the number of SpaceX broadband satellites in orbit to 1,844.
SpaceX's Starlink program was created with the aim of providing high-speed internet access for users all over the globe and to fund its deep space ambitions. This service will be available to all users, but a particular focus is on those living in remote or rural areas with little to no internet connectivity.
One of the fleet's newest members is B1062, the reused rocket that lifted the satellites into orbit. The rocket is poised to fly its fourth flight. Its payloads include two different GPS satellites and the Dragon Resilience from SpaceX's Inspiration4 mission in September. SpaceX also launched four private citizens for a three-day trip around the Earth as part of that mission.
Related: SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, the most flown after 10 launches (photos).
An astronomical image marred in space by the trails left by SpaceX's Starlink megaconstellation satellites. Image credit: Victoria Girgis/Lowell Observatory
Friday's launch will be SpaceX's second Falcon 9 rocket flight this week. On Wednesday night, SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 rocket (Nov. 10). The rocket B1067 carried four astronauts to SpaceX's six month Crew-3 mission. It is part of NASA's commercial crew program.
After the rocket was successfully launched and returned to Earth safely, SpaceX's Kennedy teams began preparing for Friday's launch.
SpaceX brought B1062 to the pad for a pre-launch test. They then fired up its nine Merlin 1D engines and rolled it out to the pad. The static fire test is when the rocket is secured to the pad and its engines are briefly started up. This allows engineers to verify that the booster is working correctly. SpaceX's prelaunch procedures include static fire tests.
SpaceX will land B1062 on the deck on one of its huge drone ships after the rocket lifts the Starlink satellites into orbit. SpaceX originally planned to recover the Crew-3 booster on Wednesday evening, but SpaceX had to rest the crew since they were out at sea for many days while teams worked on the Crew-3 mission.
The 45th Space Delta forecasters have warned that Friday's launch could be difficult because of the 60% chance of good weather conditions. Thick clouds and weather problems are the main concerns. If necessary, there is a backup attempt with conditions improving to 80%.
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