Tonight SpaceX will launch a further batch of satellites to add to its Starlink constellation, and the launch will be livestreamed so you can watch along at home. Below we’ve got all the details on what to expect from the launch and how to watch it live as well.
The launch, scheduled for Saturday, September 10, will take place from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Using a SpaceX Falcon 9, a batch of 34 Starlink satellites will be placed into low-Earth orbit.
Regular Starlink launch watchers will note that’s fewer than the typical batch of up to 60 satellites deployed by a Falcon 9, and that’s because the rocket will also be carrying an extra payload. It will additionally deploy a BlueWalker 3 satellite into low-Earth orbit for Texas-based communications company AST SpaceMobile.
As SpaceX is known for its reusable rockets, the first stage or booster of the Falcon 9 has flown on an impress 13 previous missions. The booster’s 14th mission marks a new record for how many times the company has reused a booster.
“The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, Transporter-3, and eight Starlink missions,” SpaceX writes. “Following stage separation, the first stage will land on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. This will also be Falcon 9’s first five-burn mission.”
A five-burn mission refers to the number of times the rocket will fire its engines during the course of the launch and booster landing.
The launch is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. ET (6:10 p.m. PT) today, or, if the weather is bad another launch window is available tomorrow, Sunday, September 11, at 8:48 p.m. ET (5:48 p.m. PT).
The livestream of the launch is viewable either by heading to SpaceX’s YouTube channel or by using the video embedded near the top of this page. The livestream will begin around five minutes before launch, so just after 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. ET) tonight.