by Chris Tobias
Astronomers may not be in love with the idea, but SpaceX plans to launch its fifth batch of Starlink satellites this Valentine’s weekend.
The latest Starlink mission is scheduled to lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force (Space Force?) Station in Florida NET Saturday morning, February 15. The launch window will open at 10:46 AM EST (15:46 UTC), and will remain open until 11:02 AM EST (16:02 UTC).
The Falcon 9 rocket for the mission will be making its fourth flight, and SpaceX plans to recover the first stage of the Block 5 Falcon 9 booster aboard its drone ship Of Course I Still Love You once again during this mission. The company’s fairing catcher ships will attempt to capture the fairings as well.
The weather forecast is currently 60% GO for launch. Should the launch be delayed, the weather is forecast to improve to 90% favorable for Sunday’s backup launch date.
SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk is working to create a space-based internet that will provide internet access to remote areas of the planet using satellites that beam signals down to Earth. The company already has 240 Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit, and plans to launch 60 at a time until they number in the thousands.
Peace, love and rockets…