SpaceX plans to launch two Starlink satellites less than an hour apart on Monday (February 27), and you can watch the back-to-back live action.
21 of SpaceX’s new Starlink “V2 mini” satellites are scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket on Monday at 1:38 p.m. EST (1838 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Airport in Florida. Then, at 2:31 pm EST (1931 GMT), a Falcon 9 will lift off from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, carrying 51 v1.5 Starlink satellites into orbit.
You can watch both missions live here on Space.com, via SpaceX, or via the company directly (opens in a new tab).
Related: 10 surprising facts about SpaceX’s Starlink Internet satellite
As usual, the Falcon 9 first stages will return to Earth for a landing attempt approximately 8.5 minutes after each launch. This will be the third and 12th launch, respectively, for the boosters that take off at 1:38 pm and 2:31 pm EST on Monday, according to Daily Astronaut. (opens in a new tab).
SpaceX has already launched about 4,000 Starlink satellites (opens in a new tab) for internet services around the world, and more satellites are coming: The company has regulatory approval to deploy 12,000 Starlink technologies and has requested permission to deploy about 30,000 satellites on top of that.
In December 2022, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX to deploy 7,500 Starlink 2.0 satellites into low-lying space—less than the 29,988 Starlink 2.0s requested by SpaceX in 2020. The FCC granted the limit authorization “to address concerns about orbital debris and space safety,” agency officials said at the time.
“Our mission will allow SpaceX to begin deploying Gen2 Starlink, which will bring the next generation of satellites to Americans across the country, including those who live and work in areas that are not traditionally served or served by satellites.” not,” FCC officials wrote in a December decision. which you can find here (opens in a new tab). “Our project will also enable satellite broadcasting services around the world, helping to close the digital divide on a global scale.”
The 21 V2 mini Starlink satellite scheduled for launch on Monday is a test of SpaceX’s Falcon 9; The full-size version 2.0 spacecraft was developed for SpaceX’s massive Starship Mars rocket, which has yet to launch.
The full-size Starlink 2.0 satellites are larger and more capable than the Starlink generation that preceded them, according to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. Each 2.0 1.25 ton (1,130 kilogram) spacecraft can also send services directly to mobile phones; SpaceX has already announced its intention to do so in 2023 through a partnership with T-Mobile.
Monday’s two Starlink launches were initially part of a triple-header, with NASA’s Crew-6 astronaut team, scheduled to take off early Monday morning. But the planned liftoff of Crew-6 was scrapped due to a ground system issue at the end of the countdown.
Crew-6’s next launch opportunity is Tuesday (February 28) at 1:22 a.m. EST (0622 GMT). If the astronauts start flying by then, and Monday’s two Starlink flights take off on schedule, SpaceX will launch three flights in less than hours. 12. This will break the company’s launch record of 34 hours (opens in a new tab)which is set in December 2022.
Elizabeth Howell is the author of the “Why I Grow Up (opens in a new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new tab) or Facebook (opens in a new tab).
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