Friday, December 8, 2023

SpaceX Falcon 9 to launch 22 Starlink satellites from California

SpaceX will make another attempt to launch a Falcon 9 from the West Coast with a batch of 22 Starlink satellites at 10:33 pm PST Sunday (1:33 am EST / 0633 UTC Monday).

Early Sunday morning, a countdown for Falcon 9 stopped with minutes left on the clock. SpaceX said it was “standing by” in a social media post about seven minutes after the planned liftoff time. It does not provide a reason for the aborted launch attempt. The Starlink 7-7 mission has been delayed by one day.

On this year’s 55th Starlink delivery mission, Falcon 9 will head southeast after liftoff from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California targeting a 183 × 178 mile (295 × 286 km) orbit, inclined at 53 degrees to the equator.

Spaceflight Today will provide live coverage of the Falcon 9 liftoff on our Launch Pad Live stream.

The first stage booster, making its 15th flight, previously launched the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, DART, Transporter-7, Iridium OneWeb and the Space Development Agency Tranche 0B missions. Plus nine previous Starlink delivery missions. After completing its burn, the first stage will land on the drone ship ‘Of Course I still Love You’ located about 400 miles below (644km) in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.

If all goes according to plan, the deployment of the 22 V2 Mini Starlink satellites will take place just over an hour after launch. The V2 Mini model was introduced earlier this year and is larger than the V1.5 satellites. Equipped with upgraded antennae and larger solar panels, the latest models can deliver four times the bandwidth of previous satellites.

SpaceX recently announced that it has signed up more than two million subscribers in more than 60 countries for its Starlink internet service. Since 2019 it has launched 5,445 satellites according to statistics compiled by Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which maintains the space flight database. Of the satellites 5,078 remain in orbit and 5,041 appear to be working normally.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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