Update: SpaceX has corrected the new T-0 to 22:06 EDT (0206 UTC). Thunderstorms continue on Florida’s Space Coast near Launch Pad 40 at the Space Launch Complex at the Cape Canaveral Space Station.
SpaceX plans to launch 22 more second-generation Starlink satellites into orbit Saturday night from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 9:15 p.m. EDT (0115 UTC).
Thunderstorms along Florida’s Space Coast threatened to delay the launch window, and SpaceX updated its website to reflect the new T-0 at 9:15 p.m. EDT (115 UTC). SpaceX said it has two more launch options at 22:06 EDT (0206 UTC) and 22:56 EDT (0256 UTC). The 45 Weather Squadron’s forecast released Friday shows a 40 percent change in acceptable conditions at the opening of the launch window, but that improves to 85 percent by the end of the window.
Photo of SpaceX’s Starlink V2 Mini satellites at the Cape Canaveral Payload Processing Facility. Image: SpaceX After liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40, Falcon 9 will head southeast and aim for an orbit tilted 43 degrees to the equator. After separating from the second stage about two and a half minutes into flight, Booster 1076 will land on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean east of the Bahamas.
This will be the sixth flight of the first stage booster, which launched the CRS-26, OneWeb Launch 16 and Intelsat IS-40e missions. She also flew two previous Starlink delivery missions.
Two second stage burns would be required to lift the satellites into the required 303 x 294 km orbit. The 22 satellites are scheduled to be separated just over an hour into the flight.
This will be the seventh launch of the so-called V2 mini-satellites, which are larger and offer four times the bandwidth of previous models. The full-sized V2 Starlink satellites are scheduled to be launched aboard SpaceX’s reusable Starship vehicle, but the delayed Starship debut prompted SpaceX to develop a condensed version of the satellites for launch on the Falcon 9.
According to statistics compiled by astronomer and widely respected spaceflight expert Jonathan McDowell, SpaceX has launched 4,837 Starlink satellites to date, with 4,497 Starlink satellites currently in orbit.
In early May, SpaceX announced that it had more than 1.5 million Starlink subscribers. The company’s Internet service is available in more than 56 countries.