Science

SpaceX to launch 22 Starlink satellites early Oct. 9 from California


SpaceX plans to loft 22 of its Starlink broadband satellites early Monday morning (Oct. 9).

The Starlink spacecraft are scheduled to lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base at 3:23 a.m. EDT (0723 GMT and 12:23 a.m. local California time). Four backup opportunities are available as well, from 4:14 a.m. EDT until 7:46 a.m. EDT (0814 to 1146 GMT).

You can watch the action live via SpaceX’s account on X (formerly known as Twitter) . Coverage will begin about five minutes before liftoff.

Related: Starlink satellite train: How to see and track it in the night sky

If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth for a vertical landing at sea on the SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You about 8.5 minutes after launch.

It will be the 14th liftoff and landing for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, according to a SpaceX mission description. One of its previous launches lofted NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which intentionally slammed a probe into an asteroid in September 2022.

The Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, will deploy the 22 Starlink spacecraft into low Earth orbit about 62.5 minutes after launch.

Monday morning’s Starlink launch was supposed to be the second of two back-to-back Starlink launches. A Falcon 9 had been scheduled to loft 22 Starlinks from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Sunday (Oct. 8) at 9:06 p.m. EDT (0106 GMT on Oct. 9), but high winds caused a 24-hour delay for that mission.

Starlink is SpaceX’s internet megaconstellation, which currently consists of more than 4,800 operational spacecraft. But that number continues to rise, as these two Starlink launches show.


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