SpaceX rocket poised to launch on record-breaking 17th flight tonight

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is ready to launch for a record-setting seventeenth time tonight (Sept. 19).

Topped with 22 of SpaceX’s Starlink web satellites, the Falcon 9 is scheduled to elevate off from Cape Canaveral Area Power Station in Florida at 10:47 p.m. EDT (0247 GMT on Sept. 20).

You’ll be able to watch the occasion dwell by way of SpaceX’s account on X (previously Twitter). Protection is anticipated to start out about 5 minutes earlier than launch.

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If all goes in keeping with plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come again to Earth 8.5 minutes after launch and land on a SpaceX drone ship stationed at sea.

It will likely be the seventeenth liftoff and touchdown for this Falcon 9’s first stage, in keeping with a SpaceX mission description. That may mark a brand new rocket reusability milestone; two Falcon 9 boosters at present have 16 flights underneath their belts.

The 22 Starlink satellites aboard the rocket, in the meantime, are scheduled to deploy from the Falcon 9’s higher stage into low Earth orbit 62.5 minutes after launch.


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Tonight’s liftoff will lengthen one other document as properly: It will likely be SpaceX’s sixty fifth orbital mission of the yr. The corporate’s earlier mark, 61, was set in 2022.

Most of this yr’s SpaceX launches have been devoted to constructing out the Starlink megaconstellation, which at present consists of greater than 4,700 operational satellites. That quantity ought to proceed rising for fairly a while, as SpaceX has permission to loft 12,000 Starlink craft and has utilized for approval for a further 30,000.

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