Science

Watch SpaceX launch 52 Starlink satellites, ground rocket on Saturday

SpaceX will launch another batch of its Starlink broadband satellites into orbit on Saturday (September 24) and you can watch the launch live.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying 52 Starlink spacecraft is due to launch from the Space Force Station at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Saturday at 7:32 pm EST (23:32 GMT). Watch it live here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly through the company.

You’ll also see the rocket landing: the Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth and attempt a precision landing on SpaceX’s “drone ship” “Lack of Gravity” about nine minutes after liftoff. According to the SpaceX mission description, this will be the fourth takeoff and landing of this particular booster. (will open in a new tab).

Related: SpaceX Starlink Mega Constellation Launches in Photos

Saturday’s launch continues the creation of SpaceX’s Starlink internet megagroup, which provides internet services to people around the world. The company has already launched over 3,300 Starlink satellites and plans to launch thousands more.

Starting next year, SpaceX will begin launching Starlink Version 2 satellites, which will be much larger and more powerful than the current iteration. The V2 spacecraft will be able to connect directly to smartphones and will do so for T-Mobile customers through a project called Coverage Above and Beyond, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced last month.

SpaceX plans to launch batches of Starlink V2 aboard its massive next-generation Starship, which will also carry cargo and people to the Moon and Mars if all goes according to plan. Musk recently said that Starship’s first orbital test flight is “very likely” to take place in November.

Saturday’s launch will be SpaceX’s 43rd orbital mission in 2022, adding to the company’s record for the year. SpaceX’s previous high for launches in a year was 31, reached in 2021.

Mike Wall is the author of Out There (will open in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrations by Carl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or on facebook (will open in a new tab).

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