SpaceX Poised for Record Setting Liftoff of 1st 5th Launched Falcon 9 on Starlink Mission Sunday March 15: Watch Live/Pad Photos

SpaceX Falcon 9 stands vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL prior to 6th Starlink mission targeted for launch March 15, 2020 at 9:22 a.m. ET – Up Close view as seen from crawlerway and hangar pad 39A. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – The SpaceX team is poised for the record setting liftoff of the 1st 5th launched Falcon 9 first stage on the sixth Starlink mission slated for Sunday morning March 15 from the Florida Space Coast – amidst the ever growing coronavirus pandemic that has forced closures of public places, school and travel hubs all across the US and the world but not forced a rocket cancellation.

Furthermore the weather outlook is superb.

Liftoff of the 6th Starlink mission is now targeted for 9:22 a.m. EDT, 1322 GMT, March 15 from Launch Complex-39A (LC-39A) on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL.

Notably this recycled first stage counts as the 1st 5th launch of a ‘flight-proven’ Falcon 9 – as well as being the first Starlink launch from pad 39A.

It also counts as the second flight with reused payload fairings.

Enjoy our Up Close eyewitness photos of the Falcon 9 Starlink mission rocket taken on site today March 14 during our media remote camera setup at Launch Complex-39A (LC-39A) at KSC.

UpClose view of nose cone housing next batch 60 Starlink satellites atop SpaceX Falcon 9 standing vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL prior to 6th Starlink mission targeted for launch March 15, 2020 at 9:22 a.m. ET. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The payload comprises the sixth batch of 60 SpaceX built and owned Starlink broadband satellites launching to LEO with an overall mass of about 7.7 tons.

You can watch the launch live via SpaceX webcast

Visit spacex.com/webcast

Watch SpaceX’s live launch webcast starting about 15 minutes before liftoff to learn more about the mission,

 

UpClose view of nose cone housing next batch 60 Starlink satellites atop SpaceX Falcon 9 standing vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL prior to 6th Starlink mission targeted for launch March 15, 2020 at 9:22 a.m. ET. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

In case of any delays for weather or technical reasons a backup launch opportunity exists on Monday.

So come on out and enjoy a Sunday morning treat in the form of a sure to be spectacular SpaceX rocket launch on this truly milestone 5th flight mission of the upgraded Block 5 booster B 1048.

The Block 5 Falcon 9 has been designed to 10 launches. Thus far two have successfully launched 4 times including B1048.

SpaceX Falcon 9 stands vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL prior to 6th Starlink mission targeted for launch March 15, 2020 at 9:22 a.m. ET – Up Close view as seen from pad 39A. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The goal of Starlink is to create a network that will help provide internet services to those who are not yet connected, and to provide reliable and affordable internet across the globe.

“Starlink is a next-generation satellite network capable of connecting the globe, especially reaching those who are not yet connected, with reliable and affordable broadband internet services,” says SpaceX.

SpaceX is currently the owner of the largest fleet of Earth orbiting satellites – already numbering 300 Starlink satellites delivered to orbit – and 360 if all goes well Sunday morning Mar 15.

60 Starlink satellites stacked and ready for encapsulation inside payload fairings. Credit: SpaceX

The Falcon 9 first stage previously supported 4 missions including the Iridum-7 NEXT mission in July 2018 and the SAOCOM 1A mission in October 2018 from Vandenberg Air Force Base and then the Nusantara Satu mission in February 2019, and the second launch of Starlink in November 2019 from the Florida Space Coast – following sucessful booster recoveries each time.

SpaceX will also attempt to recover the first stage and both payload fairings.

Following stage separation, SpaceX will target the booster to land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship about 8 minutes after launch – which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported the first launch of Starlink in May 2019.

Approximately 45 minutes after liftoff, SpaceX’s two fairing recovery vessels, “GO Ms. Tree” and “GO Ms. Chief,” will attempt to recover the two fairing halves with their giant catchers mitt nets.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has made rocket recycling a top priority in order to slash launch costs.

Musk says that the fairings cost approximately $6 million or roughly 10% of the approximate cost of $60 million for a new Falcon 9 rocket.

 

My SpaceX Starlink Falcon 9 launch pad and static fire photos featured at WKMG CBS 6 TV News Orlando:

 

 

SpaceX Falcon 9 stands vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL prior to 6th Starlink mission targeted for launch March 15, 2020 at 9:22 a.m. ET – Up Close view as seen from pad 39A. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
As seen on CBS 6 TV News Orlando – SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of Falcon 9 first stage engines at 6:30 p.m. EST on March 13 with exhaust spewing out from the flame trench at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for 6th Starlink mission targeted for launch March 15, 2020 at 9:22 a.m. ET – as seen from the Max Brewer Bridge along the Indian River, Titusville. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The launch window is ‘instantaneous’ meaning any delay for weather or technical reason forces a minimum 1 day scrub.

As seen on CBS 6 TV News Orlando – SpaceX Falcon 9 raised vertical at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center prior to static fire test for 6th Starlink mission targeted for launch March 15, 2020 at 9:22 a.m. ET – as seen from National Wildlife Refuge Canaveral National Seashore, Titusville, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent ULA and SpaceX launches including Starlink, Solar Orbiter, In-Flight Abort, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: ww.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

Ken has created hundreds of widely published Mars rover mosaics and lectures also about NASA’s Mars rovers

 

Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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