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More than 800 Starlink satellites are already zipping around the planet, and another 60 will join the constellation tonight. SpaceX is targetting the wee morning hours of Wednesday, November 25, for its 16th Starlink mission. Even more impressively, however, the launch will see SpaceX use a Falcon 9 booster rocket that has already been to space six times.
The launch will also mark the 100th overall flight of a Falcon 9 rocket.
It comes after a brief delay saw Elon Musk’s company scrub its original launch window on Sunday, November 22, Eastern time.
The launch was then pushed forward to Monday, after which the decision was made to launch on Tuesday.
SpaceX tweeted: “Standing down from today’s launch of Starlink.
“Rocket and payload are healthy; teams will use additional time to complete data reviews and are now working toward backup opportunity on Monday, November 23 at 9.34pm but keeping an eye on recovery weather.”
Falcon 9 is now pencilled in to blast off on Wednesday morning UK time.
How to watch the SpaceX launch live online tonight:
Courtesy of SpaceX, you can watch the launch in its entirety here on Express.co.uk free of charge.
The SpaceX launch will be broadcast on YouTube in the embedded video player above.
As with all SpaceX missions, simply hit play about 15 minutes before liftoff to tune in to the action.
The launch is pencilled in for 2.13am GMT or 9.13pm EST.
The rocket will blast off from launch pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The Falcon 9 used in tonight’s mission previously flew into space on four Starlink missions, as well as the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in September 2018, and the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019.
Ahead of Sunday’s scrubbed launch, SpaceX tweeted: “This launch will make it the fleet leader.”
One half of the rocket’s payload fairing has also been used once before, while the second half has flown on two missions.
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SpaceX chief Elon Musk, 49, has previously boasted the reusable rocket could fly up to 100 times into space.
After the booster separates from the rocket’s second stage and payload, Falcon 9 will return to Earth for a highly coordinated manoeuvre.
The booster will then land in the Atlantic Ocean on SpaceX’s robotic platform dubbed Of Course I Still Love You.
The launch is part of SpaceX’s ambitious plan to put tens of thousands of internet-beaming satellites into orbit.
Dubbed Starlink, SpaceX has already launched its beta test programme in parts of the US.
The goal is, however, to create a planet-wide broadband network that will reach even the most remote parts of the globe.
SpaceX said: “Last month, SpaceX launched its ‘Better Than Nothing Beta’ test program.
“Service invites were sent to a portion of those who requested availability updates on Starlink.com and who live in serviceable areas.
“A couple weeks ago, Canada granted Starlink regulatory approval and last week SpaceX rolled out the service to parts of southern Canada.”
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