Elon Musk’s SpaceX is aiming for its 11th rocket launch of the year on Friday, June 26, carrying another batch of its Starlink internet satellites into low-Earth orbit.
The industrial space firm led by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has already postponed the launch twice this week, so here’s hoping issues work out this time.
The Falcon 9 rocket will carry 57 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit for SpaceX’s proposed internet-from-space service. It will even deploy two satellites for Seattle-based Earth-imaging firm BlackSky, marking the second outing for SpaceX’s Smallsat Rideshare Program that allows firms to deploy satellites in low-Earth orbit at a fraction of the standard cost.
Friday’s mission will see SpaceX’s Starlink constellation broaden to almost 600 satellites, edging the company closer to launching broadband services for homes and companies. Private beta testing is anticipated to start out within the next month or two for select customers, whereas a public beta ought to be up and working for parts of North America this fall.
This year is shaping up to be a record one for SpaceX when it comes to launches. Its most lively year up to now was 2018 when it launched 21 rockets. But with its 11th launch of this year approaching Friday, and the next one slated for Tuesday, June 30, it’s effectively on its way to hitting its goal of more than 35 launches for 2020.
How to watch:
SpaceX will show Friday’s launch on its YouTube channel. Unstable weather circumstances in Florida may disrupt the mission, so remember to check SpaceX’s Twitter account for the newest updates. Conditions allowing, the Falcon 9 will head skyward at 4:18 p.m. E.T.
Besides the gorgeous spectacle of SpaceX’s rocket heading to space, you can even enjoy the superb sight minutes later of the booster returning to Earth and landing upright on a barge off the coast of Florida. There’ll even be live footage of the moment the satellites deploy and gently glide over Earth.