Watch SpaceX launch 22 Starlink satellites to orbit tonight (Image Credit: Space.com)
SpaceX plans to launch 22 Starlink internet satellites to orbit tonight (July 22), and you can watch the action live.
If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back down to Earth for a landing about 8.5 minutes after liftoff, on the SpaceX droneship Just Read the Instructions.
It will be the sixth launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description.
The Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, will keep hauling the 22 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO). The spacecraft will be deployed there about 65 minutes after launch.
Starlink launches are hardly a novelty these days; for example, SpaceX has sent four batches of the internet satellites to orbit this month already.
The company has launched more than 4,800 Starlink craft to LEO in total, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell. And the number will grow far into the future; SpaceX has approval to deploy 12,000 Starlink satellites and has applied for permission to loft another 30,000.