SpaceX to launch 22 Starlink satellites to orbit from Florida this evening (Image Credit: Space.com)
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is poised to launch from Florida’s Space Coast this evening (Sept. 29), carrying 22 Starlink satellites to orbit.
You can watch it live via SpaceX‘s account on X (formerly Twitter); coverage will start about five minutes before liftoff.
If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth for a vertical landing on a SpaceX drone ship at sea about 8.5 minutes after launch.
The 22 Starlink satellites, meanwhile, will deploy from the Falcon 9’s upper stage into low Earth orbit (LEO) about 65 minutes after launch.
This evening’s mission will be the 69th orbital launch for SpaceX in 2023. About 60% of those flights have been dedicated to building out the company’s Starlink network.
The megaconstellation currently consists of nearly 4,800 operational satellites, and the number will continue to grow far into the future. SpaceX has permission to deploy 12,000 of the craft in LEO and has applied for approval for another 30,000 as well.