Science

Watch SpaceX launch 54 Starlink satellites and land a rocket in the sea tonight (Aug 27)

SpaceX will launch 54 of its broadband Starlink satellites into orbit and land a rocket on a ship at sea on Saturday (August 27) for you to watch live.

A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying 54 Starlink spacecraft is due to lift off from the Space Force Station at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Saturday at 10:22 pm EDT (0222 GMT Aug. 28). Watch it here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly through the company. (will open in a new tab). The coverage will begin approximately five minutes before the start.

Less than nine minutes after launch, the Falcon 9’s first stage will descend to Earth to land on SpaceX’s A Shortfall of Gravitas drone, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

Related: SpaceX Starlink Mega Constellation Launches in Photos

This will be the second launch and landing of the Falcon 9 first stage. The booster also helped send the Dragon robotic cargo capsule to the International Space Station last December, according to SpaceX’s mission description. (will open in a new tab).

Meanwhile, the Falcon 9 upper stage will continue to lift Starlink satellites into the sky, eventually placing all 54 of them into low Earth orbit 15 minutes and 21 seconds after liftoff.

Saturday night’s launch will be SpaceX’s 38th of 2022, expanding the company’s record for most orbital missions in a calendar year. This will be the 24th mission of the year dedicated to Starlink, Internet giant SpaceX.

SpaceX has big plans for Starlink, as this aggressive launch frequency shows. For example, on Thursday (August 25), Elon Musk announced a deal with T-Mobile to use Starlink to connect directly to smartphones.

This direct-to-phone service is expected to be launched next year. It will use version 2 Starlink satellites, which will be much larger and more efficient than the Starlink satellites launched by SpaceX to date.

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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