The first rocket flight of the 2020s is upon us as SpaceX prepares to use their Falcon 9 to deliver the newest batch of 60 operational Starlink satellites into orbit.
The mission not only represents the start of a busy year for SpaceX but also for the Eastern Range in Florida, which expects 48 launches this year from the Florida Spaceport.
Falcon 9 is targeting a launch tonight midway through a 20-minute window that extends from 21:09 to 21:29 EST (02:09 – 02:29 UTC on 7 January), with a preferred in-plane liftoff targeted for 21:19 EST (02:19 UTC).
Tonight’s mission represents the third overall Starlink flight and second batch of operational Starlinks SpaceX will launch.
In keeping with previous Starlink launches, the mission will utilize and already-flown Falcon 9 first stage, in this case Core B1049.4.
Falcon 9 ascends from SLC-40 with the first batch of operational Starlink satellites in November 2019. (Credit: Mike Deep for NSF/L2)
This booster previously launched the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission from Florida in September 2018, the Iridium-8 flight in January 2019 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, and the Starlink 1 flight in May 2019.
See AlsoFalcon 9/Starlink Flight 3 UPDATESSpaceX Missions ...