Science

Watch SpaceX launch 56 Starlink satellites early Sunday

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SpaceX plans to launch another batch of its Starlink broadband satellites to orbit early Sunday morning (May 14), and you can watch the action live.

A Falcon 9 rocket topped with 56 Starlink spacecraft is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida Sunday at 1:03 a.m. EDT (0503 GMT). 

Watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab). Coverage is expected to begin five minutes before launch.

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

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 51 of the company’s Starlink internet satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on May 10, 2023. (Image credit: SpaceX via Twitter)

If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth 8.5 minutes after liftoff, landing on the SpaceX droneship Just Read the Instructions, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. It will be the 11th launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description (opens in new tab).

The Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, will continue carrying the 56 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit. All 56 are scheduled to be deployed about 65 minutes after launch.

SpaceX has now launched nearly 4,400 satellites for Starlink, the company’s huge and ever-growing broadband megaconstellation. More of than 4,000 of those spacecraft are currently active, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell (opens in new tab).

Sunday morning’s launch will be the 29th Falcon 9 flight of the year and the 31st orbital mission overall for SpaceX in 2023. The other two orbital flights were launched by SpaceX’s powerful Falcon Heavy rocket.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab), or on Facebook (opens in new tab) and Instagram (opens in new tab)

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