Today at 4:31 PM Polish time from the Space Center. John F. Kennedy at Cape Canaveral, Florida, will launch a Falcon 9 rocket with another package of Starlink satellites.
So far, weather forecasts give 80%. chances to start. Basically, today’s launch may be prevented only by cumulus clouds, which theoretically may cause the rocket to ice during launch. If, however, the launch does not take place, the next startup window will be open tomorrow.
So far, 595 satellites of the Starlink megaconstellation have been put into orbit. After the launch scheduled for today, the number of satellites will increase by another 58. As with the previous package, all satellites carried out today will be equipped with a sun visor to reduce the amount of light reflected by the satellites towards the Earth. In this way, SpaceX will reduce the amount of pollution of the night sky from its satellites.
Although there are already nearly 600 satellites in orbit, and Elon Musk has become the operator of the largest satellite constellation in orbit, it is still a small number compared to the plans. SpaceX’s conclusions indicate that up to 40,000 Elon Musk’s satellites could ultimately orbit. In the face of such plans, providing a dark sky becomes crucial not only for astronomers, but also for every night sky lover around the globe.
Apart from the Starlinks, three SkySats will also fly
In addition to 58 Starlinks, the Falcon 9 rocket was also topped by three Planet Labs SkySat satellites. The mission of these satellites is carried out as part of the SmallSat Rideshare program, under which SpaceX offers additional space on top of the rocket to operators of other satellites.
The rocket, which will launch the satellites into orbit today, has already been used for five other missions. It will therefore be the first Falcon 9 to complete six orbital missions. If everything goes as planned, the first part of Falcon 9 will land on the ocean platform Of Course I Still Love You.
You can watch the rocket launch live in the window below.
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Starlinki will go into space again today. Work on the construction of a mega-constellation of satellites is accelerating