SpaceX Starlink will launch early Wednesday from Cape Canaveral

Updates: Below is live coverage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket liftoff Wednesday at 12:05 a.m. EDT on the Starlink 6-27 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Welcome to FLORIDA TODAY’s Space Team’s live coverage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Starlink 6-27 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX is now looking beyond midnight — 12:05 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, to be exact — to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

In the event of a delay, a series of six backup opportunities are available from 12:56 to 2:59 a.m. EDT, SpaceX reports.

The Falcon 9 will deploy a constellation of 23 Starlink Internet broadcast satellites, which are placed inside the rocket’s 230-foot-tall payload.

No local sonic booms are expected. After soaring toward the sky along a southeast trajectory, the rocket’s first stage booster will aim to land on a drone ship at sea 8 and a half minutes after liftoff.

more: Rocket launch schedule: Upcoming launches and landings in Florida

Update 12:14 a.m. EST: The first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket has just touched down aboard SpaceX’s “just read the instructions” drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, concluding its 11th flight.

Updated at 12:05 AM EST: SpaceX launches a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The first stage booster is supposed to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean in 8 and a half minutes.

Updated at 12:00 AM EST: The SpaceX launch live stream on X (formerly Twitter) is now posted at the top of this page.

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Liftoff is scheduled for five minutes from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Updated at 11:50 PM EST: Fifteen minutes before SpaceX’s scheduled launch at 12:05 a.m. EDT, the countdown appears to be going as planned. Refueling is going well at Launch Complex 40.

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

  • 7 minutes: The Falcon 9 begins engine cooling before launch.
  • 1 minute: The flight command computer begins final pre-launch checks; The fuel tank pressure starts until it reaches cruising pressure.
  • 45 seconds: SpaceX’s launch director checks the “go” for the launch.
  • 3 seconds: The engine control module controls the start of the engine ignition sequence.
  • 0 seconds: Falcon taking off 9.

Updated 11:41 PM EST: In a tweet, SpaceX officials announced that “all systems and weather are currently ready for launch.”

Remember, the Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron has predicted a greater than 95% chance of “launch” conditions for tonight’s launch window.

Updated 11:31 PM EST: SpaceX just announced that Falcon 9 refueling procedures are now underway at Launch Complex 40.

This means that the Starlink 6-27 mission is now committed to liftoff at 12:05 a.m. EDT, otherwise the launch must be postponed.

Updated 11:14 PM EST: SpaceX said tonight’s liftoff will mark the 11th flight of the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage booster.

The booster will aim to land on the deck of the unmanned ship, just read the instructions at sea 8 minutes and 23 seconds after take-off.

Updated at 10:55 PM EST: Here’s a list of key milestones in the Falcon 9 countdown schedule:

  • 35 minutes: The loading of rocket kerosene and the first stage of liquid oxygen begins.
  • 16 minutes: The second stage of liquid oxygen loading begins.
  • 7 minutes: The Falcon 9 begins engine cooling before launch.
  • 1 minute: The flight command computer begins final pre-launch checks; The fuel tank pressure starts until it reaches cruising pressure.
  • 45 seconds: SpaceX’s launch director checks the “go” for the launch.
  • 3 seconds: The engine control module controls the start of the engine ignition sequence.
  • 0 seconds: Falcon taking off 9.
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Updated at 10:37 PM EST: Brevard County Emergency Management officials have activated the agency’s launch support team ahead of tonight’s Falcon 9 launch.

The SpaceX Starlink 6-27 mission is scheduled to launch shortly after Florida Gov. Janet Nunes announced that the Space Coast should achieve a record 80 orbital launches by the end of the year — with more than 101 scheduled for 2024.

Nunez spoke Monday during a press conference for the Florida Space Art Competition alongside Miami pop artist Romero Britto at Space Florida headquarters outside the Kennedy Space Center.

Friday’s SpaceX Starlink mission marks the 60th launch this year from the Cape, Space Launch Delta 45 noted in a photo-filled tweet. Tonight’s launch will increase the ongoing record for annual orbital launches at the Cape to 61. For the latest schedule updates at the Cape, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.

Space Force: High odds of “go” weather.

The Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predicts a greater than 95% chance of “kick-off” launch conditions.

“High pressure remains entrenched in central Florida (Monday), providing light winds and plenty of sunshine. Minor weather changes are expected for launch attempts Tuesday and Wednesday evening,” the launch forecast said. Wednesday is backup launch day.

“The primary launch weather concern for both attempts will be a slight risk of violating the cumulus cloud rule,” the forecast said.

Rick Neil He is Florida Today’s space correspondent (for more of his stories, click here.) Call Neale at 321-242-3638 or [email protected]. Twitter/X: @Rick Neal1

Space is important to us, which is why we work to provide the highest coverage of industry and launch operations in Florida. Such journalism requires time and resources. Please support him by subscribing here.

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