SpaceX’s Starlink launches are always an entertaining spectacle, and there’s another one taking place on Friday, February 25.
While most Starlink missions launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, this one will lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The mission involves the deployment of 50 Starlink internet satellites to low-Earth orbit and will be SpaceX’s eighth mission this year, and Starlink’s fourth.
It’s also the second mission since the company lost around 40 Starlink satellites at the start of this month after a geomagnetic storm disrupted their deployment.
For the Starlink mission that followed, which took place at the beginning of this week, SpaceX took no chances and deployed the payload of 46 satellites into orbit 205 miles (330 km) above Earth, 75 miles (120 km) higher than earlier launches. A higher altitude reduces the effects of any atmospheric drag worsened by a geomagnetic storm, which could disrupt the deployment.
SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket will climb high above the Pacific Coast as it roars toward space. Cameras on the ground and on the rocket itself will offer various views of the vehicle’s rapid ascent. Minutes later, SpaceX should have coverage of the first-stage booster coming back to land. As the second stage climbs high above Earth, it will provide incredible views of Earth. SpaceX may also share footage of the moment the Starlink satellites deploy.
SpaceX is targeting the launch for 9:12 a.m. PT (12:12 p.m. ET) on Friday, February 25. Barring any last-minute technical issues or poor weather in the region, we can expect the rocket to lift off on time. SpaceX will provide the latest information on its Twitter feed.
To watch Friday’s launch, simply fire up the video player embedded at the top of this page, or view the same player on SpaceX’s YouTube channel.
- How to watch Starliner capsule return to Earth tomorrow
- SpaceX announces Starlink for RVs, with no wait for dishes
- Observing wild activity on the sun could help predict space weather
- NASA’s Lucy spacecraft captured this week’s lunar eclipse from space
- How to watch Starliner’s first ISS dock attempt today