SpaceX’s goal to provide high-speed broadband internet globally gets closer with every Starlink satellite deployment. Overall, the company has launched around 1,085 satellites and is ready to launch the next Starlink fleet this weekend. Just around ten days ago it launched a fleet of 60, now it will deploy more to low Earth orbit. “SpaceX is targeting Sunday, February 14 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous window is at 11:21 p.m. EST, or 4:21 UTC on February 15,” the company announced. UPDATE: "Due to unfavorable weather tonight, now targeting Monday, February 15 at 10:59 p.m. EST for Falcon 9's launch of 60 Starlink satellites," SpaceX stated.
SpaceX told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) it plans to launch at least 120 satellites per month this year to rapidly increase the network’s capabilities. SpaceX already started to accept preorders of the Starlink service, “Starlink is now delivering initial beta service both domestically and internationally and will continue expansion to near global coverage of the populated world in 2021,” the company announced, “If you’re interested in service, we recently starting taking orders on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve your spot in line, head over to Starlink.com for more information,” they wrote. The company also said the Starlink network currently provides users with download speeds greater than 100 megabits per second and low-latency under 31 milliseconds.
Static fire test complete – targeting Sunday, February 14 at 11:21 p.m. EST for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from SLC-40— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 13, 2021
SpaceX shared today it completed a static-fire test of the previously flown Falcon 9 that will launch the upcoming mission. During a static-firing the rocket's nine powerful Merlin 1D engines are briefly ignited to asses their performance as the vehicle remains grounded to the launch pad. The booster is identified as B1059, launched five times before. It flew SpaceX’s 19th and 20th NASA Commercial Resupply Missions to the International Space Station, one Starlink satellite deployment, as well as Argentina’s SAOCOM 1B mission, and the United States National Reconnaissance Office NROL-108 mission. B1059 will now liftoff a sixth time to deploy the nineteenth Starlink fleet. Engineers aim to reuse boosters ten times to significantly reduce the cost of spaceflight. The rocket’s first-stage will be recovered again; after launching payload to orbit it will perform a propulsive landing on the ‘Of Course I Still Love You’ autonomous droneship, situated in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 633-kilometers downrange. You can watch the mission Live on Sunday night in the video below, courtesy of SpaceX [date and time are subject to change].
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
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.