SpaceX will be launching a batch of Starlink satellites today, December 18, using a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The launch will be livestreamed and we’ve got the details on how you can watch along at home.
The launch is scheduled for 4:41 a.m. PT, but if there are any issues with the launch today then there is a backup opportunity for launch tomorrow, Sunday, December 19, at 1:03 a.m. PT.
As is typical for its launches, SpaceX will livestream the launch of the rocket as well as information about the separation of the rocket stages and the eventual insertion of the Starlink satellites into orbit. There should also be video footage of the rocket’s first stage returning to Earth and being caught in the Pacific Ocean by one of SpaceX’s droneships.
You can watch along using the video embedded above, or by heading to SpaceX’s YouTube channel. The livestream will begin around 15 minutes before the launch, so that will be at around 4:25 a.m. PT.
What to expect from the launch
SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 rocket for this launch, and as is also typical for the company, parts of the rocket are being re-used from previous missions.
“The Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched Dragon’s first crew demonstration mission, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, SXM-7, and seven Starlink missions,” SpaceX wrote in a statement. “Following stage separation, the first stage will return to Earth and land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship stationed in the Pacific Ocean.”
Starlink is SpaceX’s satellite internet service, which uses a network of satellites to allow broadband internet coverage even in remote areas. The program is currently in beta, with early-access customers able to use a basic version of the service. Today’s launch of 52 more Starlink satellites will further build out the network.
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