Spaceflight Now is live streaming the launch of Starlink 6-18 from Cape Canaveral with commentary about an hour before liftoff.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 with a booster is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral on Saturday evening for its 17th flight. It will be only the second to reach this milestone and the 200th time that SpaceX has launched a previously flown Falcon 9 first stage. Liftoff with 22 Starlink satellites in the payload bay is scheduled for 9:07 p.m. EDT (0107 UTC Sunday).
The first stage of this Starlink 6-18 mission is booster 1060, which first flew in 2020. in June with the GPS 3-3 satellite for the US Space Force, and later flew Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, Intelsat G-33. /G-34 and Transporter-6 mission, as well as 11 Starlink delivery flights.
Just four days ago, Booster 1058 became the Falcon 9’s first stage on its 17th flight on the Starlink 6-17 mission. SpaceX previously listed B1060 as the first stage of this mission, but corrected the error on its website after the launch.
SpaceX recently recertified its Falcon 9 first-stage fleet to be 20 reusable, five more than its previous estimate.
Submit a photo of the Falcon 9 before its previous Starlink satellite delivery mission. Image: SpaceX. Great weather is forecast for Saturday night. U.S. Space Force meteorologists predicted just a 5 percent violation in the forecast released Friday. If SpaceX needs to delay the launch, it has additional launch options at 9:57 PM EDT (0157 UTC), 11:38 PM EDT (0338 UTC) and 12:05 PM EDT (0405 UTC). Four more launch opportunities are available Sunday night.
After lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Falcon 9 will roll and climb into a trajectory that will take it southeast. After phase separation, after about two and a half minutes of flight, Booster 1060 will land on the drone ship Just Read the Instructions, which will be about 420 miles (675 km) in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas.
A single second stage Merlin Vacuum engine will burn for about six minutes to reach a parking orbit. A two-second burn 53 minutes 57 seconds into the flight will improve the orbit until the 22 Starlink satellites are deployed into a 185 × 178-mile (297 × 286 km) orbit. The V2 Mini Starlink satellites will separate about an hour and five minutes after launch.