SpaceX plans to launch and land a rocket on Saturday (May 14), its second such effort in less than 24 hours.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying 53 of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites is scheduled to lift off Saturday at 4:40 p.m. EDT (2040 GMT) from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. If all goes according to plan, the rocket’s first stage will come back to Earth and land at sea on the SpaceX droneship Just Read the Instructions about nine minutes after liftoff.
You can watch all of this action live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company.
Saturday’s launch will be the second Starlink mission in as many days for SpaceX. A Falcon 9 launched 53 of the broadband spacecraft yesterday (May 13) from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California and also aced its touchdown on a droneship off Baja California.
Yesterday’s launch and landing were the fifth for that particular Falcon 9 first stage. The rocket flying today is brand-new, with no previous space missions under its belt, according EverydayAstronaut.com.
— SpaceX Starlink satellite internet terminals arrive in Ukraine
— SpaceX launches 53 Starlink satellites, lands rocket in quickest booster turnaround to date
— SpaceX’s Starlink broadband satellites could be used for GPS navigation
Saturday’s liftoff will continue a very busy stretch for SpaceX; the company has already launched 19 orbital flights in 2022, 12 of them dedicated Starlink missions.
SpaceX has already launched more than 2,500 Starlink satellites to date but plans to loft many more. The next-generation version of the broadband megaconstellation could eventually harbor up to 30,000 satellites, according to paperwork that SpaceX has filed.