Watch SpaceX launch 54 Starlink satellites on October 20
SpaceX is ready to expand its satellite internet constellation again.
SpaceX’s 48th launch in 2022 will include an array of 54 Starlink satellites, which are scheduled to enter orbit Thursday, October 20 at 10:50 a.m. EDT (2:50 p.m. GMT). You can watch live here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX. Coverage will begin approximately five minutes before takeoff.
A Falcon 9 rocket will carry Starlink Group 4-36 satellites aloft from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Falcon 9 first stage will land just under nine minutes later at sea atop a SpaceX drone, if all goes according to plan. The satellites will deploy into low Earth orbit 15.5 minutes after liftoff.
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Starlink is a constellation of Internet satellites built primarily to provide services to remote areas. The network is huge and continues to grow; with over 3,100 estimated operational satellites (opens in a new tab) in orbit, SpaceX hopes to increase that tenfold pending regulatory approval.
Starlink service has proven crucial to beleaguered Ukrainians during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, and SpaceX recently pledged to continue funding the constellation’s Ukrainian service after initially saying the Pentagon should help bear the cost.
SpaceX had a record 31 launches in 2021 and is on track to hit 50 already in 2022, with more than two months remaining in the calendar year. Many launches this year have been dedicated to Starlink, but others have sent NASA astronauts to the International Space Station and launched US military satellites, among other tasks.
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