Launch Spotlight: SpaceX to launch Starlink satellites aboard a Falcon 9

Monday evening SpaceX is preparing to launch another batch of Starlink satellites. This will take off from Launch Complex-39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Launch Date: Tuesday, January 18, 9:02 p.m. EST

Rocket: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 (1060-10)

Payload: 49 Starlink satellites

Launch Pad: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Destination: Low Earth Orbit

Landing Site: A Shortfall Of Gravitas, Atlantic Ocean

What is the Falcon 9?

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is the workhorse of commercial launches into Earth orbit. Nine Merlin engines power the partially reusable rocket on the first stage and a single vacuum optimized Merlin on the second stage. The Falcon 9 has launched a total of 134 times with a 98% success rate, making it a highly trusted vehicle among the commercial, scientific, and defense sectors.

The Booster

The Falcon 9 booster supporting this launch is B1060-10. It has flown 9 times in the past:

  • GPS III-3
  • Starlink Mission 12
  • Starlink Mission 15
  • Turksat-5A
  • Starlink Mission 19
  • Starlink Mission 23
  • Starlink Mission 25
  • Transporter-2
  • Starlink Group 4-3

Weather

The latest weather forecast from Space Launch Delta 45 shows a greater than 95% chance for acceptable launch conditions with the primary concern being liftoff winds. Should there be a 24-hour delay, the forecast shows a 90% chance for acceptable weather with the primary concern being cumulus clouds. (Updated: Jan. 17, 1:30 p.m. EST)

Where to watch?

You can find coverage of Friday’s Starlink launch on SpaceX’s YouTube channel. The live stream will usually go live about 15 minutes before liftoff and will offer the best views of the launch.

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