KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – Hopefully the third time is the attraction for the next Starlink launch of SpaceX. The company plans to send its 10th batch of Internet satellites and some other ridesharing services late Saturday morning.
The new launch window for Falcon 9 is scheduled for 10:54 AM from Kennedy Space Center 39A. The last attempt on Wednesday was raining about 10 minutes before the start.
It’s Florida in July, which means the weather could be a factor again this weekend. According to the Air Force weather officer, there is a 60% chance of favorable weather for the start window on Saturday.
“On Saturday in the late morning and early afternoon in Central Florida there will be showers and storms from northwest to southeast,”
According to the latest forecast, the cloud cover and the possible lightning-generating weather are the main concerns.
Here are five things you need to know to get started if this happens:
- What’s on board: 57 Starlink communication satellites and two spacecraft for BlackSky Global. BlackSky bought a trip through Spaceflight Inc., a company that organizes the transportation of spacecraft and payloads into space.
- Security window TBD: In the event of a delay, no backup window was released.
- Country information: About eight minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage booster aims to automatically land on the Of course I still love you Drone ship stationed in the Atlantic.
- Starlink Internet: After this launch, SpaceX will have launched almost 600 Starlink satellites. The goal is to create a network of satellites to produce high-speed Internet all over the world. SpaceX has not yet announced when the Internet will go online. The company recently launched a website where users can log in to get service availability information. According to this website, Starlink 2020 targets services in the northern United States and Canada.
- Effects on astronomy: SpaceX has heard feedback from the astronomy community about the shear count of Starlink satellites and possible interference with astronomical observations, and has worked to address these concerns. For this launch, all Starlink satellites are equipped with a visor that can be used to prevent sunlight from hitting the brightest parts of the spacecraft. According to SpaceX, this will help ensure that the satellite does not reflect sunlight onto the earth and interfere with astronomical observations. The company previously also tried darkening technology on one of the satellites, which according to SpaceX reduced the reflectivity by about half.
Stop by all week and watch the countdown for updates on launch.
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