SpaceX is planning to launch the first installment of its new Starlink generation, and you can watch the launch for free.
A Falcon 9 rocket topped with a fleet of Starlink 5-1 group satellites — the first Generation 2 (Gen 2) version of SpaceX Internet satellites — is scheduled to launch at 4:30 a.m. EST (0930 GMT) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is set for. in coastal Florida. You can watch the launch for free, courtesy of SpaceX, approximately 5 minutes before liftoff.
“This launch is the first of Starlink’s upgraded network. Under our new license, we are now able to deploy satellites into new orbits that will add even more capacity to the network,” wrote SpaceX (opens in new tab) in a mission statement. “Ultimately, this enables us to add more customers and provide faster service – especially in areas that are currently over-subscribed.”
related: 10 weird things about SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites
As of December 27, the weather for launch is 90%, but according to a weather forecast by SpaceX Delta 45, SpaceX is looking at conditions at sea for booster recovery. (opens in new tab) Team at the station. If it goes ahead, it will be SpaceX’s 60th launch in 2022, nearly doubling the 31 launches set in 2021 as the SpaceX record.
A typical Starlink launch involves a Falcon 9 rocket sending the Starlinks into low Earth orbit, with the first stage touching down atop a drone ship about eight minutes later. The launch is intended to touch down on a ship called A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.
The Falcon 9 first stage is making its 10th flight on this mission. The booster flew the first four Starlink missions, launched two US GPS satellites, the NileSat 301 commercial satellite and carried two separate private astronaut crews on the Inspiration 4 and X-1 missions, SpaceX has said.
Starlink’s Gen2 is said to be more powerful than the 3,300 or so operating in orbit right now, and it appears SpaceX needs to increase bandwidth. Despite sending hundreds of first-generation Starlink satellites this year, the broadband network continues to face congestion. (opens in new tab) Report suggested.
On December 1, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX to deploy 7,500 Gen2 satellites. However, this was only a partial approval, as SpaceX applied to the FCC for permission to send about 30,000 of these satellites into low Earth orbit.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk has said that in addition to being able to handle more traffic, Gen2 satellites could beam directly to smartphones. While this crop is headed into space aboard the Falcon 9, SpaceX eventually plans to use its massive Starship rocket, which has been in development and has been awaiting approval for 18 months to fly into space.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “why am i tall (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow him on Twitter @howlspace (opens in new tab), Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) Or Facebook (opens in new tab),