SpaceX to try again Saturday to launch Starlink satellites after a long break

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifting off

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral.


SpaceX is set to resume building up its Starlink constellation of broadband satellites on Saturday morning. A Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7:19 a.m. ET (4:19 a.m. PT) carrying a batch of the latest laser-equipped version of the flying routers. 

The launch was planned for Friday morning but was postponed by a day due to weather. 

After hurling hundreds of Starlinks into orbit in first half of 2021, there has only been one Starlink mission so far in the second half, which sent a total of 51 satellites to low-Earth orbit. Instead, Elon Musk’s space company in recent months has been focused on preparing its massive Starship for its first orbital flight and on transporting astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

The most recent Starlink mission in September was the first one to launch from California and the first group fully equipped with laser links that allow satellites to communicate with one another in orbit and reduce the need for numerous ground stations. 

Starlink seeks to offer satellite-based broadband coverage across the planet. So far, SpaceX has shipped over 100,000 satellite receivers to consumers, and it plans to continue expanding and improving Starlink’s coverage into 2022.

Saturday morning’s launch will be followed by a landing attempt for the Falcon 9 on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean. The whole mission is expected to be livestreamed by SpaceX. We’ll embed the feed here once it’s available. 

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