SpaceX to launch 22 Starlink satellites from California early Jan. 10 (Image Credit: Space.com)
SpaceX is set to launch yet another batch of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit.
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying 22 Starlink spacecraft is scheduled to lift off from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base on Wednesday (Jan. 10) during a nearly 2.5-hour window that opens at 12:06 a.m. EST (0506 GMT; 9:06 p.m. local time in California on Jan. 9).
You can watch the launch via SpaceX‘s account on X. Coverage will begin about five minutes before the launch window opens.
If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth about 8.5 minutes after liftoff, touching down on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.
It will be the 18th launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description. That’s just one shy of the SpaceX reuse record of 19 flights, which was set last month by a Falcon 9 first stage.
The Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, will continue hauling the 22 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit, where they will be deployed about 62.5 minutes after liftoff.
Starlink is SpaceX’s broadband megaconstellation, which beams service to customers around the world. The network currently consists of more than 5,250 spacecraft, and the number will continue to grow far into the future.
Wednesday’s mission will be the fourth orbital flight of 2024 for SpaceX, which wants to launch 144 missions this year. The company’s current record is 98 liftoffs, which which was set in 2023.