SpaceX plans Starlink launch from Florida on Wednesday

  • SpaceX plans Starlink launch from Florida on Wednesday

SpaceX plans Starlink launch from Florida on Wednesday

The launch will carry 60 more Starlink broadband internet satellites to their low Earth orbit destination, using a Falcon 9 rocket with a booster that flew four times previously, including twice in 2018 and twice a year ago, most recently in November for another Starlink mission.

The space firm previously launched 60 Starlink satellites at a time in May, November, on January 6 and 29 and February 17, with two test satellites launched before that. Eastern from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and deployed the satellites into a 221-kilometer low Earth orbit about 15 minutes later. These sections, which consist of the rocket's first stage and fairings, will be retrieved by the company and reused in future missions.

SpaceX also will attempt to recover the two pieces of the rocket's nosecone - another cost-saving effort. Musk said a "thorough investigation" will be needed before SpaceX's next mission. Reusable Rocket Targets: The fairing or protective cover that encloses the satellite cargo has also flown before, in a SpaceX Starlink launch since last May. That's due in part to the redundancy built into the design of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which uses 9 Merlin engines working together. Neither mission using that modified profile has been successful, however.

According to SpaceX, the launch is scheduled to take place on March 18 at 8:16 am EDT. "Chief" and "Ms. Tree", which are outfitted with large catcher's nets.

Over the past few months, SpaceX has been launching batches of satellites with the goal of creating a network to provide internet services to those who are not yet connected.

SpaceX has now launched 362 Starlink satellites, counting two demonstration spacecraft in 2018. Musk said at the Satellite 2020 conference that Starlink is created to serve the 3-4% of the population that is most hard to reach.