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Doubleheader! Watch SpaceX launch 2 rockets less than 5 hours apart today

SpaceX plans to launch two Falcon 9 rockets less than five hours apart on Friday (March 17), and you can watch the back-to-back action live.

The show is scheduled to begin at 3:26 p.m. EDT (1926 GMT), when SpaceX will launch 52 of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Then, at 7:38 p.m. EDT (2338 GMT), a Falcon 9 carrying the SES-18 and SES-19 telecommunications satellites will lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

You can watch both missions here at, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab).

Related: 8 ways that SpaceX has transformed spaceflight

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 21 Starlink “V2 mini” satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Feb. 27, 2023. (Image credit: SpaceX via Twitter)

Both launches will feature rocket landings as well: In each case, the Falcon 9 first stage will come down for a touchdown at sea on a SpaceX droneship less than nine minutes after liftoff.

It will be the eighth liftoff and touchdown for the Starlink-launching Falcon 9 and the sixth for the rocket that lofts SES-18 and SES-19, according to SpaceX. 

The 52 Starlink satellites are bound for low Earth orbit, where they’ll join more than 3,700 other spacecraft (opens in new tab) in SpaceX’s huge broadband constellation.

The Falcon 9 will deliver SES-18 and SES-19, by contrast, to geosynchronous transfer orbit. From there, the two satellites will make their way to geostationary orbit, about 22,200 miles (35,700 kilometers) above our planet. 

Friday’s launches will be the 18th and 19th of the year already for SpaceX. And the liftoffs will keep on coming: Company founder and CEO Elon Musk said last summer that SpaceX could launch up to 100 orbital missions in 2023.

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 on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).  

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