Watch SpaceX launch 46 satellites and land a rocket at sea Sunday evening
SpaceX will launch 46 satellites and land a rocket at sea on Sunday (July 10), and you can watch the action live.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket topped with 46 of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites is scheduled to lift off from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base on Sunday at 9:39 p.m. EDT (6:39 p.m. local California time; 0139 GMT on July 11). Watch it here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab). Coverage will begin about 10 minutes before liftoff.
If all goes according to plan, about 8.5 minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth and land on the SpaceX droneship Of Course I Still Love You, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.
It will be the sixth launch and landing for this Falcon 9 first stage. The booster also helped loft the Earth-observation satellite Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission and three Starlink batches, SpaceX said in a mission description (opens in new tab).
The Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, will deploy the 46 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit 63 minutes after liftoff.
Sunday evening’s launch will be the 29th orbital mission of the year for SpaceX and the 17th dedicated to Starlink, the company’s huge internet-satellite constellation.
SpaceX has launched more than 2,750 Starlink satellites (opens in new tab) to date, and the number will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. The company already has approval to launch 12,000 Starlink craft, and it has applied to an international regulator for permission to loft up to 30,000 more on top of that.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).