It’s time for another flying Falcon 9 to deliver a fifth batch of Starlink satellites to orbit for SpaceX. On Sunday morning, SpaceX’s workhorse rocket is set to add 60 more satellites to the burgeoning constellation. The , but as more are sent into orbit, and affecting their ability to study the cosmos.
Nevertheless, Elon Musk’s pioneering spaceflight company is set to continue sending them up — and the launch and return of a Falcon 9 is always a wonderful thing. If you want to watch the launch and landing live, here’s how.
The Falcon 9 is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, at approximately 10:25 a.m. ET (7:25 a.m. PT) on Sunday, Feb. 16. It’ll be the fourth launch this year for SpaceX, the fifth overall for Starlink and the fourth for this particular Falcon 9 rocket booster.
The weather is largely favorable at this point, with only a 10% chance of the launch being called off due to cloud cover.
SpaceX carries a livestream on its webcast page for every launch, and this Starlink mission will be no different. You can watch the YouTube stream below, kicking off at around 10 a.m. ET. We’ll post a link here when it becomes available.
The backup launch window will open 24 hours later, should it be required.
The mission will bring the total amount of Starlink satellites orbiting the Earth to around 300. That’s still a drop in the cosmic pond compared with SpaceX’s ambitions, which could see up to 12,000 Starlink satellites in orbit — and perhaps even 30,000 more on top of that.
the satellites might obscure their view of space, making it more difficult to study distant stars, planets and radio signals. In a previous mission, SpaceX launched an experimental Starlink satellite — “DarkSat” — with a coating meant to make it less reflective and obtrusive. However, the dark coating may cause the satellite to absorb more heat from the sun and ultimately malfunction, and it remains unclear if the approach can work.