SpaceX launching 22 Starlink satellites from California tonight

SpaceX plans to launch 22 more of its Starlink internet satellites tonight (Feb. 14), on what could be a very busy day in spaceflight.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying 22 Starlink spacecraft is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California today during a nearly 90-minute window that opens at 7:30 p.m. EST (4:30 p.m. local California time, or 0030 GMT on Feb. 15).

SpaceX will livestream the launch via its X account. Coverage will begin about five minutes before the window opens.

If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth about 8.5 minutes after liftoff for a landing on the droneship Of Course I Still Love You, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

It will be the second launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description. Its previous flight was also a Starlink mission.

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The Starlink launch is part of a very busy spaceflight stretch. At 5:30 p.m. EST (2230 GMT) today, for example, SpaceX plans to launch the classified USSF-124 mission for the U.S. Space Force. 

Then, at 10:25 p.m. EST (0325 GMT on Feb. 15), a Russian Soyuz rocket will launch the robotic Progress 87 cargo craft toward the International Space Station from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

And at 1:05 a.m. EST (0605 GMT) on Thursday (Feb. 15), SpaceX plans to launch the private IM-1 moon-landing mission from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. 

Source: Space.com

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