SpaceX fired up a Super Heavy booster on the launch pad today (Aug. 9) for the first time ever, notching a big milestone in the development of its Starship deep-space transportation system.
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Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Starlink 4-26 mission will launch SpaceX’s next batch of 53 Starlink broadband satellites. Follow us on Twitter.
SpaceX is counting down to liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket and 52 more Starlink internet satellites Tuesday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The commercial mission is set for launch into low Earth orbit at 6:57 p.m. EDT (2257 GMT), and the Falcon 9’s reusable first stage will target a landing on an offshore drone ship.
There’s a 70% chance of favorable weather for liftoff Tuesday, according to the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron.
The Falcon 9 rocket will head northeast from the Kennedy Space Center, aiming to deliver the flat-packed broadband relay stations to an orbit ranging between 144 miles and 208 miles in altitude (232-by-338 kilometers). Deployment of the 52 flat-packed satellites from the Falcon 9’s upper stage will occur about 15 minutes after liftoff.
With Tuesday’s mission, designated Starlink 4-26, SpaceX will have launched 3,,09 Starlink internet satellites, including prototypes and test units no longer in service. The launch Tuesday will mark the 54th SpaceX mission primarily dedicated to hauling Starlink internet satellites into orbit.
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A view of Launch Complex 39A on Tuesday morning, where SpaceX rolled a Falcon 9 rocket to the pad for liftoff with another batch of 52 Starlink internet satellites. On the right, work continues on the launch pad for SpaceX’s next-generation Starship program. Credit: SpaceX
SpaceX continues to launch Falcon 9 rockets from Launch Complex 39A in Florida as construction work advances on the nearby tower for the company’s next-generation Starship rocket. Overnight Tuesday, SpaceX rolled another Falcon 9 to pad 39A for liftoff with the next batch of Starlink internet satellites, just hours after another section of the Starship gantry tower arrived at the pad.
The sixth of nine sections for the Starship launch tower moved to pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on a self-propelled transporter Monday night. A large crane at pad 39A was expected to raise the five-story-tall segment on top of five sections already stacked at the Starship orbital launch site, located about 1,000 feet (300 meters) east of the existing Falcon 9 launch area.
SpaceX is moving ahead with work on the Starship pad in Florida, the second site for the huge new reusable rocket after a similar facility was built in South Texas. The tower will stand more than 450 feet tall when complete.
Meanwhile, SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 rocket mission is set for launch at 6:57:40 p.m. EDT (2257:40 GMT) Tuesday from pad 39A. The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket will head northeast from Kennedy and accelerate into orbit over the Atlantic Ocean to inject 52 Starlink satellites into orbit.
Ground teams at pad 39A rolled the Falcon 9 from its hangar to the launch position early Tuesday, then raised the rocket vertical over the flame trench around 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT). Crews planned to prep the rocket for the start of the automated countdown sequence 35 minutes before liftoff time.
Images on social media show that Galactic Energy of China lifted off successfully from the Jiaquan Satellite Launch Center on Tuesday (Aug. 9).
The Stellina is a combination of a telescope and camera, and brings the Universe to the palm of your hand in minutes.