Featured Image Source: SpaceX
SpaceX’s Starlink constellation will one day provide high-speed internet connection globally. There are currently around 960 satellites operating in low Earth orbit providing service to select customers living in northern United States, Canada, and portions of United Kingdom. Customers are selected by SpaceX based on their location, the satellites are orbiting in an area where they can beam signal to areas situated at high-latitudes around the planet. As more satellites are launched to orbit, SpaceX will increase its capability to provide service to more customers. To receive updates about when service will be available in your area sign-up via Starlink.com.
Company officials previously said that twenty-four Starlink fleet deployments would enable them to offer Starlink service worldwide. SpaceX is preparing to launch the seventeenth fleet of 60 internet-beaming Starlink satellites this week. The mission was previously scheduled for Monday but unfavorable weather in Florida caused SpaceX to postpone the launch. This evening, the company announced it now targets to deploy the satellites until Wednesday. –“To allow additional time for pre-launch inspections, now targeting Wednesday, January 20 at 8:02 a.m. EST for launch of Starlink,” SpaceX shared via Twitter. The United States Space Force 45th Space Wing Weather Squadron issued a Launch Mission Execution Forecast that states there is a 90% ‘GO’ for launch, weather conditions during launch time will be favorable, full forecast pictured below.
To allow additional time for pre-launch inspections, now targeting Wednesday, January 20 at 8:02 a.m. EST for launch of Starlink— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 19, 2021
Source: U.S. Space Force
The 60 Starlink satellites will be propelled to space atop a seven-times-flown Falcon 9 packed flat and tightly inside its fairing. The rocket will liftoff for the eighth time Wednesday morning from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The flight-proven Falcon 9 first-stage booster that will perform the mission is identified as booster B1051-7. It previously launched seven missions: four other Starlink missions, the Crew Dragon uncrewed Demo-1 mission to the International Space Station in March 2019, the RADARSAT launch in June 2019, and most recently B1051 supported the launch of SXM-7 for SiriusXM satellite radio station service, deployed on December 13, 2020. The same booster will now launch Starlink satellites on Wednesday. It will be the first time SpaceX launches a previously-flown booster 8 times. SpaceX will attempt to recover B1051 again soon after liftoff by performing a propulsive landing on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ autonomous droneship that is awaiting in the Atlantic Ocean. You can watch the Starlink Mission Live on Wednesday 10-minutes before liftoff at 8:02 a.m. EST. in the video below, courtesy of SpaceX [date is subject to change].
WATCH IT LIVE!
About the Author
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.