SpaceX sets up for back-to-back Starlink launches this week – CNET

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A Falcon 9 loaded with Starlink satellites prepares for launch.


SpaceX

SpaceX is again aiming to send two different Falcon 9 rockets to space this week loaded with its Starlink broadband satellites in the space of about 26 hours.

At the moment Elon Musk’s company is scheduled to send its 19th batch of Starlink routers to low-Earth orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 7:59 p.m. PT (10:59 p.m. ET) Monday. The 20th batch is set to blast off from adjacent Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday at 9:55 p.m. PT (12:55 a.m. Wednesday ET).

The company had planned to launch two batches of Starlinks from Florida within hours of each other earlier this month, but one of this missions was postponed. (That launch is now scheduled for Tuesday night.)

These launches and the droneship landings that follow them are becoming pretty routine for SpaceX, but Musk would like to see the pace of launches increase. The permit from the FCC for Starlink to operate requires that at 2,212 of its satellites be operational by March of next year.

So far, over 1,000 of the small satellites have been sent to space, but it’s not clear how many of those are currently operational. Regardless, it would seem that if SpaceX can pull off it least two Starlink launches per month, it should be able to hit its target.

Only two Starlink missions have been flown thus far in 2021, but the company can quickly get up to speed if it nails both missions this week.

Of course, these launches are known to slip. Monday night’s launch has already been pushed back a couple of times, most recently on Sunday due to bad weather.

Whenever the next launch is imminent, we will embed the livestream here. It typically goes live about ten minutes before launch.

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