SpaceX plans to launch one of its Falcon 9 rockets for a record 13th time today (June 17) and you can watch the action live.
The two-stage Falcon 9 is scheduled to take off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida today at 12:08 EDT (1608 GMT), carrying 53 from SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites in orbit. She is the first of three rockets in three days of three different pads for SpaceX this weekend.
You can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceXor directly through the company (opens in a new section); Coverage is expected to begin 10 minutes before takeoff.
If all goes according to plan, the 53 satellites will be in low Earth orbit about 15.5 minutes after launch. But before that, there will be action: about 8.5 minutes after takeoff, the first stage of the Falcon 9 will land on Earth for a vertical landing of the SpaceX A Shortfall of Gravitas drone, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
This will be the 13th launch and landing for this first phase of Falcon 9, setting a new record for SpaceX reuse. Earlier, the amplifier helped launch a GPS satellite, a Turkish communications satellite, various spacecraft during Transporter 2’s “rideshare” mission and nine Starlink batches, according to Description of SpaceX’s mission (opens in a new section).
Such an extensive review is a top priority for SpaceX and its billionaire founder and CEO, Elon Musk. Musk has repeatedly said that rapid and full reuse is the key breakthrough that will allow humanity to establish Mars and achieve a number of other ambitious space flights.
Starlink is the constellation of Internet satellites of SpaceX. The company started more than 2,600 Starlink ships to date (opens in a new section)and their numbers will continue to grow far into the future; after all, the next generation version of the network may consist of up to 30,000 satellites (opens in a new section).
Today’s mission will launch a planned tripleheader rocket for SpaceX, which also intends to launch a radar satellite for the German military on Saturday morning (June 18th) and a commercial communications satellite early Sunday (June 19th).
This intense 36-hour stretch will last a very busy year for SpaceX. The company has already launched 23 missions in 2022, 14 of which are dedicated to Starlink flights.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there (opens in a new section)“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow it on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in a new section). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new section) or on Facebook (opens in a new section).