SpaceX Set to Launch 22 Starlink Satellites from California on Friday

SpaceX Starlink Satellites

SpaceX is gearing up for another mission, as it plans to launch 22 Starlink internet satellites on Friday, January 19, marking its second mission in as many days. The liftoff is scheduled for 9:15 p.m. ET from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Mission Details

A Falcon 9 rocket is entrusted with the task of carrying the payload, with a launch window spanning three and a half hours, commencing at 9:15 p.m. EST (6:15 p.m. California time; 2315 GMT). Interested viewers can catch the live stream on SpaceX’s X account, with coverage beginning approximately five minutes before the launch window opens.

Reusability Milestone

If the mission unfolds as planned, the Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth just 8.5 minutes after liftoff. The touchdown is expected to take place on the drone ship named “Of Course I Still Love You,” strategically positioned in the Pacific Ocean. Remarkably, this marks the 16th launch and landing for this particular booster, with 10 of its previous flights dedicated to other Starlink missions.

Deployment into Orbit

The Falcon 9’s upper stage will continue its journey, carrying the 22 Starlink satellites towards their designated orbit. The deployment into low Earth orbit is anticipated approximately 63 minutes after liftoff. This Starlink mission is the latter part of a two-day streak for SpaceX, following the successful launch of the Ax-3 astronaut mission on Thursday.

Recap of Ax-3 Mission

Thursday’s mission, spearheaded by Elon Musk’s company, involved the Ax-3 astronaut mission en route to the International Space Station. Axiom Space, based in Houston, is overseeing the Ax-3 mission, which aims to send four individuals to the orbiting lab for a roughly two-week stay.

Stay tuned for updates on SpaceX’s latest endeavors.

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