SpaceX Starlink mission 6-13
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the company’s latest batch of Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on August 31, 2023.
Welcome to our space team’s live coverage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Starlink 6-16 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
After backing out of the first attempt Thursday night, SpaceX teams at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station are now on track to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 22 Starlink internet satellites at 11:38 PM EDT from Launch Complex 40.
An additional launch opportunity for the Starlink 6-16 mission is scheduled for 12:07 a.m. EDT. Saturday. Otherwise, two backup opportunities are available Saturday night, at 11:13pm and 11:38pm EST.
Stay tuned for more frequent updates as we approach the start of fueling procedures, which should begin approximately 38 minutes before takeoff. When a SpaceX live stream hosted on X (formerly Twitter) becomes available approximately 5 minutes before liftoff, it will be posted at the top of this page.
11:07 PM EST: SpaceX reports that “all systems look good” for liftoff and weather conditions are trending favorably for tonight’s launch. Propellant loading in progress.
10:56 PM EST: Here’s a summary of SpaceX’s countdown timeline. T minus:
- 38 minutes: SpaceX’s launch director checks propellant loading.
- 35 minutes: Kerosene used in rockets begins loading.
- 33 minutes: The first stage of liquid oxygen loading begins.
- 16 minutes: The second stage of liquid oxygen loading begins.
- 7 minutes: The Falcon 9 begins engine cooling before launch.
- 1 minute: Commanding the flight computer to initiate 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.
- 00:00:00: Falcon taking off 9.
10:30 PM EST: SpaceX reports that this marks the fifth flight of the first stage booster supporting tonight’s mission. The launch was previously recorded with the booster using Crew-6, SES O3b mPOWER and two Starlink missions.
After stage separation, about 8 1/2 minutes after liftoff, the first stage is scheduled to land on the Just Read the Instructions drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
The 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket is tentatively scheduled to launch at 11:38 p.m. EST on Friday. The Falcon 9’s payload interface contains 22 Starlink Internet satellites.
If necessary, an additional launch opportunity is available at 12:07 AM EST. Saturday. Additionally, two backup opportunities are available later Saturday, at 11:13 PM and 11:38 PM EST.
After a short flight along the southeast trajectory, about eight minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9 first-stage rocket is scheduled to target a drone ship landing at sea.
Meteorologists with the Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron reported a 45% chance of “kick-off” conditions around the spaceport during the Friday night launch window. Recovery conditions for the drone ship landing are listed as “low to moderate risk.”
If schedules hold, this will be the 49th Space Coast launch this year.
A weather report released Wednesday by the Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron pegs conditions at 45% at launch. Recovery conditions for the enhanced drone landing at sea are listed as “low to moderate risk” as the front advances south into central Florida, bringing deeper moisture to the peninsula.
“Rain and storm coverage will be higher for the backup launch window Friday evening. Cumulus and anvil cloud bases will remain the primary concerns for the launch,” the weather squadron’s forecast said.
As SpaceX teams prepare for another launch from the Cape, Hurricane Lee continues to generate large waves off the coast of Florida, which could pose a problem for a drone ship waiting for a boosted landing attempt off the coast of the Bahamas.
Here’s everything you need to know:
- It will host the Cape Canaveral Space Station’s Launch Complex 40.
- The payload is the company’s next batch of Internet-broadcasting Starlink satellites.
- The 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket will follow a southeast trajectory between Florida and the Bahamas.
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- If it launches on time, it will mark the 49th Space Coast launch this year.
- There are no local sound spikes with this task.
- The 130-foot-long first-stage booster will target a landing drone ship about eight minutes after liftoff.
- This will be the fifth flight of this first-stage booster.
When will the next launch be from the Florida Space Coast?
More SpaceX Starlink missions are expected to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station next week, but the company has not yet announced a target date for the next mission. For the latest schedule updates, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
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