Update at 12:15 PM EST on January 30: SpaceX has delayed the Starlink launch again, to Tuesday (January 31), to allow for that More time for pre-checks (Opens in a new tab). Takeoff is at 11:15 AM EST (1615 GMT). This follows previous delays, from Sunday (January 29) to Monday morning (January 30), and then Monday afternoon, for the same stated reason.
SpaceX plans to launch another batch of Starlink broadband satellites into orbit on Tuesday (January 31), and you can watch the event live.
a Falcon 9 Rockets topped with 49 Starlink The spacecraft, along with the transport payload from Italy-based D-Orbit, is scheduled to lift off Tuesday from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 11:15 a.m. EDT (1615 GMT, 8:15 a.m. ET). california local time).
If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9 first stage will return to Earth 8.5 minutes after liftoff to land on SpaceX’s Of Course I Still Love You drone, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.
This will be the seventh launch and landing of this particular booster, according to A SpaceX mission description (Opens in a new tab).
The upper stage of the rocket will continue to carry 50 payloads into low Earth orbit. D-Orbit’s Ion Satellite Carrier #9 (SCV009), an orbital transport vehicle capable of carrying a number of its own payloads, will deploy about 58 minutes after launch. It’s unclear what payloads SCV009, which D-Orbit calls Eclectic Elena, is flying on this mission.
The Falcon 9 upper stage will then deploy 49 Starlink satellites 1 hour and 17 minutes after launch, if all goes as planned.
SpaceX has already launched Approximately 3,800 Starlink satellites (Opens in a new tab)And the massive constellation will continue to grow for a while: The company has permission to loft 12,000 spacecraft online and has applied for approval to deploy about 30,000 more on top of that.
Monday’s launch will already be the seventh of the year for SpaceX, and the third for a Starlink mission of 2023. Although it’s still very early days, Elon Musk’s company is well on its way to breaking the one-year record. 61 orbital launchesset last year.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 11:10 AM ET on January 29 with a new launch date of January 30. The launch was scheduled for January 29, but SpaceX pushed things back a day Pre-check-out (Opens in a new tab).
Mike Wall is the author of “Abroad (Opens in a new tab)Book (Major Grand Publishers, 2018; illustration by Carl Tate), a book about the search for aliens. Follow him on Twitter @employee (Opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @employee (Opens in a new tab) or Facebook (Opens in a new tab).
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