Live updates of Falcon 9 Starlink launch on Cape

Welcome to Florida Today’s Space Team live coverage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Starlink 6-24 mission from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX is targeting a 10:17 pm EDT launch of a Falcon 9 rocket on another Starlink mission from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The Space Force’s 45th Weather Wing predicted a 95% chance of “go” weather for launch.

Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and Kennedy Space Center hosted 31 orbital rocket launches in 2021, a new annual record. Launches since then jumped to 57 last year — a new record, representing an 84% increase.

On Tuesday, the successful SpaceX Starlink mission in 2023 marked CAPE’s 57th orbital launch so far, tying last year’s record.

No local sonic boom should occur with the upcoming launch of Starlink, which will put the company’s 23 Internet-launching satellites into low-Earth orbit.

After liftoff from Launch Complex 40, Falcon 9 will head southeast toward the first-stage booster landing on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean near the Bahamas.

SpaceX’s live webcast hosted on X (formerly Twitter) will be posted at the top of this page when it becomes available approximately five minutes before liftoff.

Update 10:17 pm EDT: SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The first stage booster should land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean in about 8½ minutes.

Update 10:12 pm EDT: SpaceX’s live launch webcast hosted on X (formerly Twitter) is now online and posted at the top of this page.

Liftoff is scheduled in five minutes.

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Update 10:02 pm EDT: Fifteen minutes before SpaceX’s scheduled 10:17 pm EDT Falcon 9 launch, the countdown appears to be proceeding as planned. Refueling is underway at Launch Complex 40.

As a reminder, here’s a list of major upcoming countdown milestones. T-minus:

  • 7 minutes: Falcon 9 starts engine cooling before launch.
  • 1 minute: Command flight computer begins final prelaunch tests; The propellant tank starts to pressurize to flight pressure.
  • 45 seconds: The SpaceX launch director checks the “go” for the launch.
  • 3 seconds: The engine controller commands the engine to start the ignition sequence.
  • 00:00:00: Falcon 9 liftoff.

Update 9:52 pm EDT: SpaceX officials announced in a tweet that “the weather in Florida is looking great” for the upcoming liftoff.

If all goes as planned, the 10:17 PM EDT liftoff from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station will mark SpaceX’s second rocket launch today.

This morning, a Falcon 9 launched 21 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit at 4:23 a.m. EDT from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Update 9:43 pm EDT: Falcon 9 refueling procedures are now underway at Launch Complex 40, SpaceX announced

This means that the Starlink 6-24 mission will now load at 10:17 pm EDT, otherwise the launch will have to be postponed.

Update 9:30 pm EDT: Brevard County Emergency Management officials activated the agency’s Launch Operations Support Team ahead of the Falcon 9 launch.

Update 9:15 pm EDT: Here’s a rundown of SpaceX’s countdown timeline for tonight. T-minus:

  • 38 minutes: SpaceX’s launch controller checks the launch of the propellant load.
  • 35 minutes: Rocket-grade kerosene and first-stage liquid oxygen loading begins.
  • 16 minutes: The second phase of liquid oxygen loading begins.
  • 7 minutes: Falcon 9 starts engine cooling before launch.
  • 1 minute: Command flight computer begins final prelaunch tests; The propellant tank starts to pressurize to flight pressure.
  • 45 seconds: The SpaceX launch director checks the “go” for the launch.
  • 3 seconds: The engine controller commands the engine to start the ignition sequence.
  • 00:00:00: Falcon 9 liftoff.
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Update 8:45 pm EDT: This is the fourth flight of the first-stage booster to support the mission, SpaceX said.

Following separation, the booster was scheduled to land on the drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas 8 minutes and 22 seconds later in the Atlantic Ocean.

The first target time to launch the Starlink 6-24 mission is 10:17 PM EDT Saturday.

From 11:07 p.m. to 2:15 a.m. EDT Sunday, five backup opportunities will be available if needed.

Further: Rocket launch schedule: Upcoming Florida launches and landings

Space Force’s forecast ‘very positive’

The Space Force’s 45th Weather Wing puts the odds of “go” conditions for a possible launch at 95%.

“Overall weather conditions are very favorable for a launch attempt this weekend. (Friday), a deep neutral trough is digging in the southeast and an associated weak cold front will move in tonight (Saturday) morning,” the release forecast said.

“(On Saturday), another shot of dry air will filter in as low-level winds move west/northwest behind the front, and high pressure will build over the area,” the forecast said.

Regardless, the 45th Weather Service’s forecast lists a low to moderate risk of upper-level wind shear as a risk criterion.

SpaceX Release: Here’s Everything You Need to Know

  • Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Launch Complex 40 will host.
  • The payload is SpaceX’s next set of 22 Starlink Internet-beaming satellites.
  • The 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket will follow a southeasterly path between Florida and the Bahamas.
  • The liftoff will mark the Space Coast’s record-breaking 58th launch this year.
  • No local noise amplification is caused by this task.
  • The 130-foot first-stage booster targets the landing drone 8½ minutes after liftoff.
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For the latest schedule updates from the Cape, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.

Rick Neal is a space reporter in Florida today (click here for his stories). Contact Neil at 321-242-3638 or [email protected]. Twitter/X: @RickNeale1

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