SpaceX will launch another batch of satellites for the company’s Starlink Internet service on Monday at 11:57 p.m. PDT (2:57 a.m. EDT / 0657 UTC on Tuesday) from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. We’ll be streaming the launch live on our Launch Pad live stream.
The mission, called Starlink Group 7-2, will put 21 second-generation Starlink satellites into a 185 × 178-mile (297 × 286 km) orbit, tilted 53 degrees to the equator. This version of the satellite is known as the V2 Mini, and is a shortened version of the full-size V2 Starlink satellites that are slated to launch in the future on SpaceX’s reusable Starship vehicle. This will be the 18th launch of the V2 Mini satellite series.
Taking off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on a southern trajectory, the Falcon 9’s first stage will fire for about two and a half minutes before the second stage completes its ascent to orbit. The first-stage booster, tail number B1071, is making its 11th flight and will land on the Of Course I still Love You drone ship, about 416 miles (670 km) from Vandenberg off the coast of Baja California. If all goes well, the booster will land about eight and a half minutes after launch.
The second stage will complete the first burn to reach the initial parking orbit shortly after booster descent. It will then cruise for about 45 minutes before a two-second launch to reach its intended orbit. The 21 satellites will be deployed at T+1 hour, 2 minutes and 19 seconds.
According to statistics compiled by Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who maintains a database of space flights, the total number of Starlink satellites launched currently stands at 5,070.
In May, SpaceX announced that it had more than 1.5 million Starlink subscribers. Internet service is available in more than 60 countries.
Photo of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base, California. Credit: SpaceX