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Updates: SpaceX Starlink launch Monday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida

Updates:  Following is live coverage of Monday's 11:20 p.m. EST liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on the Starlink 6-30 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Welcome to FLORIDA TODAY's Space Team live coverage of tonight’s SpaceX Starlink 6-30 mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX is targeting 11:20 p.m. EST to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The Falcon 9 will deploy a batch of 23 Starlink internet satellites, which are packed inside the payload fairings atop the 230-foot rocket.

No local sonic booms are expected. After soaring skyward along a southeastern trajectory, the rocket's first-stage booster will target landing aboard a drone ship out at sea 8½ minutes after liftoff.

Countdown Timer

SpaceX Falcon 9 booster lands

Update 11:28 p.m. EST: The Falcon 9 first-stage booster just landed aboard SpaceX's drone ship Just Read the Instructions out on the Atlantic Ocean, wrapping up its 17th mission.

Liftoff!

Update 11:20 p.m. EST: SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX live launch webcast begins

Update 11:15 p.m. EST: SpaceX's live launch webcast hosted on X (formerly Twitter) is now posted at the top of this page.

Liftoff is scheduled in five minutes from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX Falcon 9 launch coming up

Update 11:05 p.m. EST: Fifteen minutes before SpaceX's scheduled 11:20 p.m. EST Falcon 9 launch, the countdown appears to be proceeding as planned. Fueling is well underway at Launch Complex 40.

As a reminder, here is a list of key upcoming countdown milestones. T-minus:

  • 7 minutes: Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch.

  • 1 minute: Command flight computer begins final prelaunch checks; propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins.

  • 45 seconds: SpaceX launch director verifies “go” for launch.

  • 3 seconds: Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start.

  • 0 seconds: Falcon 9 liftoff.

SpaceX eyeing Friday Starlink launch

Update 10:58 p.m. EST: Though SpaceX has yet to make an announcement, a National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency navigational warning indicates Cape Canaveral's next launch window will open late Friday night and extend 4½ hours into early Saturday morning.

This upcoming launch window opens at 11 p.m. Friday and extends until 3:31 a.m. EST Saturday. Those hours mirror those of tonight's Starlink 6-30 mission.

SpaceX Falcon 9 fueling now underway

Update 10:46 p.m. EST: "All systems and weather are currently go for launch," SpaceX officials just said in a tweet announcing that Falcon 9 fueling procedures have begun at Launch Complex 40.

That means tonight's Starlink 6-30 mission is now locked in to lift off at 11:20 p.m. EST, or else the launch must be postponed.

Fully fueled, the Falcon 9 will hold more than 1 million pounds of propellant — which the rocket can burn through in fewer than three minutes after liftoff.

SpaceX booster to land on drone ship

A SpaceX booster is brought into Port Canaveral aboard the drone ship Just Read the Instructions in July 2020.
A SpaceX booster is brought into Port Canaveral aboard the drone ship Just Read the Instructions in July 2020.

Update 10:33 p.m. EST: Tonight's mission marks the 17th flight for this Falcon 9 first-stage booster, SpaceX reports.

Following stage separation, the booster is slated to land on the drone ship Just Read the Instructions out on the Atlantic Ocean 8 minutes, 27 seconds after liftoff.

SpaceX launch weather looks promising

Update 10:12 p.m. EST: Per the National Weather Service, skies are partly cloudy with a temperature of 57 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

A northwest breeze is blowing at 5 mph, and visibility extends 10 miles.

SpaceX provides late launch confirmation

Update 9:52 a.m. EST: SpaceX officials did not publicly confirm tonight's Starlink launch attempt on X (formerly Twitter) until 8:16 p.m. EST, just more than three hours before the 11:20 p.m. liftoff target.

Space Force: 90% odds of early 'go' weather

In its launch forecast, the Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron pegged the chance of "go for launch" weather at 90% early during tonight's window, decreasing to 80% as the evening wears on and cool, dry air filters in from the northwest.

"(Sunday), models are indicating that these upper-level clouds will likely increase in coverage and thickness as the window progresses. If the bases get low enough, this could be a Thick Cloud Layers Rule concern," the forecast said.

"However, since these clouds will be associated with the jet stream instead of thunderstorms, there is more leniency in the rule to allow for a lower base without causing a violation," the forecast said.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket  carrying a batch of Starlink satellites lifts off early Wednesday morning from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a batch of Starlink satellites lifts off early Wednesday morning from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

For the latest schedule updates at the Cape, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.

Rick Neale is a Space Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY (for more of his stories, click here.) Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or rneale@floridatoday.com. Twitter/X: @RickNeale1

Space is important to us and that's why we're working to bring you top coverage of the industry and Florida launches. Journalism like this takes time and resources. Please support it with a subscription here.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Updates: SpaceX Starlink launch Monday from Cape Canaveral in Florida

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