SpaceX now aims to launch Starlink on Sunday after five consecutive delays

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Update, 6:55 p.m. EDT: SpaceX just announced (opens in new tab) another delay for their beleaguered Starlink mission that has now missed five launch opportunities in a row. The company is now aiming for Sunday (Sept. 18) at 8:18 p.m. EDT (0043 GMT Monday, Sept. 19). The webcast usually starts about 15 minutes before launch.

SpaceX plans to launch another big batch of its Starlink satellites to orbit Sunday night (Sept. 18), and you can watch the action live.

SpaceX plans to loft 54 more Starlink broadband satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida Sunday at 8:18 p.m. EDT (0018 GMT on Sept. 19). You can watch here at Space.com, or directly via SpaceX (opens in new tab). The launch has been delayed five consecutive times due to bad weather.

The flight plan calls for a Falcon 9 rocket to carry the Starlink Group 4-34 satellites into space, and for the first stage of the rocket to land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship in the Atlantic Ocean about nine minutes later. It will be the sixth launch and landing for this particular booster, SpaceX wrote in a mission description (opens in new tab).

Related: SpaceX’s Starlink megaconstellation launches in photos

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 51 Starlink internet satellites and the Sherpa-LTC2 space tug from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Sept. 4, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX) (opens in new tab)

Starlink is SpaceX’s broadband constellation of satellites. The company has lofted more than 3,200 of the satellites into orbit so far. SpaceX is rapidly expanding the constellation, with launches happening pretty much every week — and sometimes more often than that.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently said he hopes to launch up to 100 SpaceX missions in 2023. The goal is, in part, to ramp up Starlink service as fast as possible for the remote customers that the company wants to serve.

SpaceX already has regulatory approval to launch 12,000 Starlink satellites. The company has also applied to an international regulator to send another 30,000 of the satellites into orbit.

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The company is also expanding the types of customers that are accessing Starlink services. 

SpaceX recently announced a collaboration with T-Mobile to beam broadband service directly to cell phones. Additionally, SpaceX signed with Royal Caribbean to offer Starlink on cruise ships, to improve Internet service at sea. 

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 9:45 p.m. ET on Sept. 13 with the new launch date of Sept. 14. SpaceX had planned to launch the mission on Sept. 13 but scrubbed the attempt due to weather. It was updated again at 8:50 p.m. ET on Sept. 14 with the new launch date of Sept. 15. Bad weather scrubbed planned attempts on Sept. 14, Sept. 15 and Sept. 16. Sept. 14 attempt as well. It was updated again on Sept. 15, after bad weather forced another scrub. This story was also updated at 8:13 p.m. EDT on Sept. 16 to reflect a new launch time, and at 9:15 p.m. EDT Sept. 16 regarding the scrub. This story was updated again at 6:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 17 with a scrub and new launch opportunity.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab). 

Source: space.com

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