SpaceX launches dozens of Starlink satellites from Florida

UPDATE: Falcon 9 lift off at 11:35am EDT! The rocket launched 55 Starlink Internet satellites before targeting a drone ship landing in the Atlantic Ocean, completing its eighth flight to date.

Follow live updates as SpaceX aims to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 56 Starlink Internet satellites from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Friday, June 23 at 11:35 a.m. EDT.

If the schedule holds, Falcon 9 will take off from Launch Complex 40, fly a southeast course, and land aboard a drone in the Atlantic Ocean. Weather conditions are expected to be 40% “Go”.

Follow live updates below:

11:35 a.m. EDT: Falcon 9 lifts off with 55 Starlink Internet satellites! Here is the post-release timeline:

  • T-plus 00:01:12: Max Q (moment of peak mechanical pressure of the rocket)
  • 00:02:27: First Stage Main Engine Cut (MECO)
  • 00:02:30: 1st and 2nd stages separate
  • 00:02:36: 2nd stage engine starts (SES-1)
  • 00:02:48: Fair deployment
  • 00:06:14: First stage entry burn begins
  • 00:06:35: 1st stage entry burn ends
  • 00:08:09: 1st stage landing burn begins
  • 00:08:29: 1st stage landing
  • 00:08:39: 2nd level mechanical cut (SECO-1)
  • 00:54:04: 2nd stage engine starts (SES-2)
  • 00:54:07: 2nd level mechanical cut (SECO-2)
  • 01:05:28: Starlink satellites are deployed

11:15 a.m. EDT: Crews are counting down to the Falcon 9 rocket liftoff at 11:35 a.m. EDT, and all seems well. The 55 Starlink Internet satellites inside the payload fairing will fly in a southeasterly trajectory aimed at the drone ship’s landing, so there is no local sound boom at this time.

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10:55 a.m. EDT: SpaceX mission managers have voted “go” to begin fueling the Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 40. Once it starts at 11 a.m., it will give way to loading at 11:35 a.m. EDT. Here’s what’s left on the countdown:

  • T-minus 00:35:00: Loading of RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) begins
  • 00:35:00: First stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
  • 00:16:00: 2nd stage LOX loading begins
  • 00:07:00: Falcon 9 begins engine cooling before launch
  • 00:01:00: Command flight computer to begin final preflight checks
  • 00:01:00: Propellant tank pressure starts to increase to flight pressure
  • 00:00:45: SpaceX launch director checks on launch
  • 00:00:03: The engine controller commands the engine to start the ignition sequence.
  • 00:00:00: Falcon 9 liftoff

9:55 a.m. EDT: Weather conditions around the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and nearby Kennedy Space Center are improving the next launch window ahead of 11:35 a.m. EDT. The lightning advisories issued to the staff of both the centers have been lifted.

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9 a.m. EDT: SpaceX confirms that teams are now targeting 11:35 a.m. EDT for this launch due to bad weather around the Cape. The weather is 40% favorable for lifting the aircraft during that window, which is the last chance of the day.

8:40 a.m. EDT: The weather around the Cape was not ideal – overcast, windy, with scattered showers. The range also seems to address some lightning concerns.

If the weather is still in the red by the time fueling begins (9:21 a.m. EDT), crews may push the launch to a second window today. It will be available at 11:35 am EDT.

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8:15 a.m. EDT: SpaceX teams at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station are counting down to today’s launch of the Starlink Internet satellites, named Starlink 5-12. Here is the timeline:

  • T-minus 00:38:00: SpaceX checks the launch vehicle’s thruster
  • 00:35:00: Loading of RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) begins
  • 00:35:00: First stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
  • 00:16:00: 2nd stage LOX loading begins
  • 00:07:00: Falcon 9 begins engine cooling before launch
  • 00:01:00: Command flight computer to begin final preflight checks
  • 00:01:00: Propellant tank pressure starts to increase to flight pressure
  • 00:00:45: SpaceX launch director checks on launch
  • 00:00:03: The engine controller commands the engine to start the ignition sequence.
  • 00:00:00: Falcon 9 liftoff

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