Watch SpaceX launch 2 rockets less than an hour apart on Monday

SpaceX plans to launch two Starlink satellite-internet missions less than an hour apart on Monday (Feb. 27), and you can watch the back-to-back action live.

Twenty-one of SpaceX’s new Starlink “V2 mini” satellites are scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket Monday at 1:38 p.m. EST (1838 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Then, at 2:31 p.m. EST (1931 GMT), a Falcon 9 will lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, carrying 51 v1.5 Starlink satellites to orbit.

You can watch both missions live here on, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab)

As usual, the Falcon 9 first stages will come back to Earth to make landing attempts roughly 8.5 minutes after each launch. This will be the third and 12th launches, respectively, for the boosters flying at 1:38 p.m. and 2:31 p.m. EST on Monday, according to Everyday Astronaut (opens in new tab).

SpaceX has already launched nearly 4,000 Starlink satellites (opens in new tab) for internet service around the world, and more satellites are coming: The company has regulatory permission to send up 12,000 Starlink craft and has applied for approval to deploy nearly 30,000 satellites on top of that.

In December 2022, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX to deploy 7,500 Starlink 2.0 satellites in low Earth orbit — far fewer than the 29,988 Starlink 2.0s that SpaceX had applied for in 2020. The FCC granted a limited approval “to address concerns about orbital debris and space safety,” agency officials said at the time.

“Our action will allow SpaceX to begin deployment of Gen2 Starlink, which will bring next-generation satellite broadband to Americans nationwide, including those living and working in areas traditionally unserved or underserved by terrestrial systems,” FCC officials wrote in the December decision order, which you can find here (opens in new tab). “Our action also will enable worldwide satellite broadband service, helping to close the digital divide on a global scale.”

Related stories:

— SpaceX reveals ‘Starshield’ satellite for national security

— Starlink satellites: Everything you need to know about the controversial internet megaconstellation

— 8 ways that SpaceX has transformed spaceflight

The 21 V2 mini Starlink satellites scheduled to launch Monday are a test set for SpaceX’s Falcon 9; the full-size version 2.0 spacecraft is optimized for SpaceX’s huge Starship Mars rocket, which is not yet operational.

The full-size Starlink 2.0 satellites are larger and can do more than predecessor Starlink generations, according to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk. Each 2.0 spacecraft is 1.25 tons (1,130 kilograms) and can send service directly to cellphones; SpaceX has already announced intentions to do so in 2023 via a partnership with T-Mobile.

Monday’s two Starlink launches were originally supposed to be part of a triple-header, along with the Crew-6 astronaut mission for NASA, which was scheduled to lift off early Monday morning. But Crew-6’s planned liftoff was scrubbed due to a ground-system issue late in the countdown.

The next possible Crew-6 launch opportunity is Tuesday (Feb. 28) at 1:22 a.m. EST (0622 GMT). If the astronaut mission does launch at that time, and Monday’s two Starlink flights get off the ground on schedule as well, SpaceX will have launched three orbital flights in less than 12 hours. That would shatter the company’s three-launch record of 34 hours (opens in new tab), which was set in December 2022.


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