Watch live as SpaceX tries, for the third time, to launch 60 Starlink satellites

Update: SpaceX is trying again! After its original attempts to launch 60 Starlink satellites were scrapped due to weather issues, the company is giving it another go today. A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying the initial 60 satellites for SpaceX’s ambitious Starlink internet constellation will lift off at 10.30pm Eastern / 7.30pm Pacific — provided all goes according to plan that is.

The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, but called off with just minutes to spare after windy weather endangered the launch’s chances of success. A few days later, the backup launch was abandoned yet again. The decision came a couple of hours before the opening of the revised launch window on Thursday evening, May 16. In a tweet, the company said it was “standing down to update satellite software and triple-check everything again,” adding, “Always want to do everything we can on the ground to maximize mission success, next launch opportunity in about a week.”

Now, nearly a week later, SpaceX is ready to try again.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch — the sixth this year — is significant because it will mark the first major deployment for SpaceX’s Starlink satellites. Two previous Starlink satellites have been launched, but both of these were only for test purposes. The next launch will be significantly larger, with 60 Starlink satellites packed into the nose of the Falcon 9 rocket that will carry them. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that this is the heaviest ever payload for SpaceX, weighing 18.5 tons.

“Approximately one hour and two minutes after liftoff, the Starlink satellites will begin deployment at an altitude of 440km,” SpaceX noted on its website. “They will then use onboard propulsion to reach an operational altitude of 550km.”

The eventual goal of the ambitious Starlink project is to launch thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit in order to establish a broadband network for providing low-cost, high-speed global internet coverage. Getting the remaining satellites into orbit will take SpaceX another eight years — and a total cost of around $10 billion. To achieve “minor” internet coverage will reportedly require an additional six similar launches, each carrying 60 satellites each. Twelve more launches will result in “moderate” coverage. Musk has said that his goal is to launch at least 1,000 satellites per year. Launches such as today’s will deliver around “1 terabit of bandwidth to the Earth.”

As the last two days have shown, with these eagerly anticipated SpaceX launches, there is always a chance that things won’t go quite as planned. We’ll be sure to update this post as soon as we know the date of the next launch window. Whenever that may be, you can watch using the handy SpaceX livestream which is available to tune into here. It is due to go live roughly 15 minutes before the launch takes place.

Updated on May 23, 2019: Revised to include new launch attempt information.

Cars

Starman on Tesla Roadster makes first orbit around sun, braces for loneliness

Starman and his Tesla Roadster, sent by SpaceX to outer space last year, have completed their first orbit around the sun. The people on Earth may be able to catch a glimpse of the cherry-red electric vehicle on November 2020.
Smart Home

Alexa wants to be your college mom with these awesome skills

If you love Alexa at home, you're going to love her even more when you go off to college. She has skills that can help with dorm laundromats, tracking your team, keep track of campus events, and more.
Emerging Tech

Mars 2020 rover now has a rotating array of drill bits for sampling Martian rock

Most the key components in the Mars 2020 rover are installed and ready to go. The next phase of construction was to install the bit carousel, an important mechanism for the gathering and sorting of samples from the Martian surface.
Computing

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for August 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work, we have you covered. We've put together a list of the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
News

UPS partners with TuSimple to test self-driving semi-trucks

UPS has been carrying truckloads of goods in self-driving semi-trucks since May. The vehicles are being tested in Arizona routes between Phoenix and Tucson for better service and efficiency for UPS delivery.
Emerging Tech

Astro the dog-inspired quadruped robot can sit, lie down, and… learn?

Move over Spot! Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have built a new dog robot called Astro. Thanks to deep learning technology, it promises to be able to learn just like a real dog.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Racing drones and robotic ping pong trainers

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Health & Fitness

We spit in a ton of test tubes to find the best and most unique DNA tests

DNA tests aren’t just limited to ancestry. You can test for your risks for certain diseases, the best workouts and diets for your health and fitness, and more.
Emerging Tech

Artificial tree promises to suck up as much air pollution as a small forest

Startup Biomitech has developed an artificial tree that it claims is capable of sucking up as much air pollution as 368 real trees. It could be a game-changer for cities with limited free space.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects landing site candidates for OSIRIS-Rex to sample asteroid Bennu

Last year, the OSIRIS-REx craft arrived at asteroid Bennu, from which it will collect a sample from the asteroid to be brought back to Earth. Now, the NASA team has selected four potential sites to choose from for the sampling mission.
Emerging Tech

NASA wants to send two more missions to Mars to collect rock samples

With its Mars 2020 mission, NASA hopes to collect samples from the surface of the planet. The challenge is how to get those samples back to Earth. Now, NASA has revealed its plans for two followup missions to Mars.
Emerging Tech

Eric Geusz: Apple engineer by day, spaceship designer by night

An Apple software engineer by day, artist Eric Geusz spends his nights drawing everyday household objects as amazing, science fiction-style spaceships. Check out the impressive results.
Emerging Tech

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is flaring and no one knows why

At the heart of our galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*. Normally this giant monster is relatively docile, but recently it's been a hotbed of unexpected activity, rapidly glowing 75 times brighter than normal.
Emerging Tech

SpaceIL’s crashed lander may have sent thousands of tardigrades to the moon

When the SpaceIL craft Beresheet crashed into the moon earlier this year, it left more than just an impact mark. Thousands of micro-animals called tardigrades were along for the ride and may have survived the crash.