This Friday (May 6), the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will take off on its record-breaking 12th spaceflight, and you can watch the action live.
The two-stage Falcon 9 with 53 SpaceX Starlink internet satellites is due to lift off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday at 5:42 am EST (0942 GMT). When the time comes, watch it here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly through the company.
This will be the 12th Falcon 9 first stage launch, setting the company’s record for reuse. And the car will fly again after Friday, if all goes according to plan; SpaceX plans to once again land a booster on its unmanned A Shortfall of Gravitas, which will be stationed off the coast of Florida.
Related: SpaceX Starlink Mega Constellation Launches in Photos
Starlink is SpaceX’s huge and growing constellation of broadband satellites. The company has launched more than 2,400 Starlink spacecraft to date, many of them this year; 10 out of 17 SpaceX launches in 2022 were dedicated to Starlink missions.
And there will be many more such flights. The next-generation version of Starlink, which already provides Internet service in various locations around the world, could be made up of up to 30,000 satellites, according to documents filed by SpaceX.
As the Falcon 9 launch count shows, 2022 is already an important year for SpaceX. The past month has been especially busy; The company launched six missions in April, including Ax-1, the first-ever private crewed flight to the International Space Station, and Crew-4, the last flight of SpaceX astronauts to an orbital laboratory for NASA.
Ax 1 returned to Earth after a 15-day stay on board the station, but Crew 4 will stay there for about six months – about the same as Crew 3, which was launched in November 2021 and is due to splash down. off the coast of Florida early Friday morning.
Mike Wall is the author of Out There (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Carl Tate) about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or on Facebook.