CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — UPDATE: SpaceX marked another successful launch of its Starlink satellites Wednesday during a lunchtime liftoff.
Systems were noted to be "go" for launch around 37 seconds before the Falcon 9 rocket's engines fired. The rocket made it through each of its main stages Max Q, MECO, stage separation and fairing with ease.
Falcon 9 was also able to complete two burns to return its first stage to SpaceX's droneship "Of Course I Still Love You."
Today's launch will add to the 1,318 Starlink satellites already in low-Earth orbit, according to a Florida Today report, citing a spacecraft database maintained by Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
You can re-watch the launch here:
It's a lunchtime launch.
SpaceX is set to send up its next back of Starlink internet satellites at 12:34 p.m. Wednesday atop a Falcon 9 rocket, the company announced. Blasting off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, this will be Starlink's 24th mission.
That is, if all systems are go and the weather cooperates. The latter shouldn't pose a problem with only a "very small threat" of cumulus clouds in the area -- otherwise, the weather is a more than 90-percent "go," according to the 45th Weather Squadron.
"The stretch of beautiful spring weather will continue as a strong area of high pressure becomes centered over the Florida peninsula today," forecasters said. "This high will be in control of our weather through the next several days, bringing plentiful sunshine, diminishing winds, and gradually rising temperatures."
Florida Today reports, citing a spacecraft database maintained by Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, there are 1,318 Starlink satellites orbiting Earth.
Wednesday's mission will add 60 more.
Starlink is SpaceX's internet communication satellite constellation. The low-Earth orbit constellation is marketed to deliver high-speed internet service to locations where ground-based internet is unreliable, unavailable or expensive.
For those in the Tampa Bay area who can't make it over to the Space Coast, look off to the northeastern sky where, after a minute or two after lunch, you might see the fiery exhaust of the Falcon 9 rocket.
SpaceX's next scheduled launch is the Crew-2 mission that will send the next round of astronauts to space aboard the Crew Dragon.
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