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How to watch SpaceX’s nighttime Starlink launch tonight

Tonight SpaceX will launch another batch of Starlink satellites in a nighttime launch using one of its Falcon 9 rockets from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. With liftoff scheduled for 10:22 p.m. ET (7:22 p.m. PT) on Saturday, August 27, you can watch the launch at home by following the guide below.

Starlink Mission

What to expect from the launch

SpaceX has performed so many Starlink launches in the last few years that they have become very experienced in the launch process. You can expect to see a closely choreographed launch sequence, with the deployment of the 54 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit.

One exciting feature of the launch is that it will be at night, with some spectacular views of the rocket lifting off into the darkness expected. There’s also the excitement of the rocket’s first stage, or booster, which will return to Earth to land on a droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas will be on hand to catch the booster for reuse in future missions.

As is typical with SpaceX launches now, parts of the rocket have been used previously. The first stage booster which is flying tonight has previously been used on the CRS-24 mission, which was a resupply mission to the International Space Station which launched in December 2021.

How to watch the launch

To watch the launch as it happens, you can tune into the SpaceX livestream. This will show key events in the launch process like final preparations, liftoff, the separation of the first stage, then the separation of the fairing, and eventual deployment of the payload. The stream will also show the landing of the booster, with the flip maneuver once it is separated, the entry burn, and then the vertical landing on the droneship.

Coverage of the launch will begin around 5 minutes before liftoff, so around 10:15 p.m. ET (7:15 p.m. PT). You can watch either by heading to SpaceX’s YouTube page or by using the video embedded at the top of this page.

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Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
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