SpaceX plans two Starlink launches this week, possibly within a few hours – CNET

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A stack of SpaceX Starlink satellites being deployed in orbit.


SpaceX

While SpaceX and Elon Musk celebrate another high-altitude test of the company’s next-generation Mars rocket in Texas, it’s also staying busy in Florida, where two Falcon 9 rockets are set to carry dozens of new Starlink satellites to orbit.

Shifts in launch schedules having been pushing liftoff target times for the two missions closer together. At the moment, the next Starlink mission is scheduled to blast off at 10:19 p.m. PT Wednesday (1:19 a.m. Thursday in Florida) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, according to SpaceflightNow.

Meanwhile, a separate batch of Starlink satellites is loaded on a Falcon 9 at Kennedy Space Center. This mission was originally set to blast off Monday but has since been postponed a few times and is now slated for 2:36 a.m. PT (5:36 a.m. ET) Thursday, less than five hours after the other batch of 60 of SpaceX’s flying routers for its nascent broadband service.

The two missions represent the 18th and 19th Starlink launches overall.

SpaceX has long been working toward upping the pace of its launches. Musk has said he’d eventually like to see his rockets landed and turned around for another launch within 24 hours. Of course, he’s talking about a single booster there, and this week’s planned missions will involve two separate boosters. Nonetheless, pulling off two missions back to back from Cape Canaveral while also managing the SN9 launch situation in Texas is yet another test of the company’s overall operational capacity.

Launch delays are common, however, so it’s possible the schedule will continue to shift.

Whatever happens with this week’s launches, we’ll bring you the livestreams right here, starting about 10 minutes before liftoff.

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