After several days of delays, SpaceX is finally hoping to launch 133 satellites into orbit. Up to 10 Starlink satellites will be onboard the mission, dubbed Transporter-1, as Elon Musk looks to increase the company’s broadband providing capabilities. However, also on board is a mixture of commercial and government satellites which will be released into orbit.
SpaceX has a 40 minute launch window from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, which begins at 2:20pm GMT (9:20am local time).
SpaceX said the weather conditions are “60 percent favourable” so there is a 40 percent chance the launch could be delayed yet again.
However, if it does go ahead, a live stream of the launch will begin 15 minutes before lift-off.
The SpaceX live stream has been embedded at the top of this page.
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SpaceX deploys 60 Starlink satellites into orbit
Elon Musk’s company said in a statement: “SpaceX is targeting Saturday, January 23 for launch of Transporter-1, SpaceX’s first dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The 42-minute launch window opens at 9:40 a.m. EST, or 14:40 UTC.
“Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported launch of Crew Dragon’s second demonstration mission, the ANASIS-II mission, a Starlink mission, and launch of Dragon’s 21st cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station.
“Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
“On board this launch are 133 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles) and 10 Starlink satellites – the most spacecraft ever deployed on a single mission.
“The Starlink satellites aboard this mission will be the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit.”
The latest batch of Starlink satellites increases the number present in orbit to more than 1,000.
The Starlink satellite broadband system has been given regulatory approval for the UK, meaning customers could begin signing up.
Starlink is the ambition of Mr Musk’s SpaceX to provide internet to all quarters of the globe using satellite technology.
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To receive the Starlink internet, users will have to have a satellite dish installed.
However, Ofcom has given approval for dishes to be installed across UK homes, Bloomberg confirmed.
But Starlink will not come cheap to potential UK users.
The initial cost of having the hardware set up is £439, plus another £54 for shipping fees.
On top of that, users will have to pay a further £84 a month to receive Starlink’s broadband.
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