For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FL – SpaceX is poised to accomplish a record breaking first ever 6th launch of a recycled Falcon 9 1st stage Tuesday morning Aug. 18 of the 11th batch of the firms broadband internet satellites from the Florida Space Coast.
Liftoff of the ‘flight-proven’ SpaceX Falcon 9 booster B1049.6 is targeted for Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 10:31 a.m. EDT on its eleventh Starlink mission from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The mission payload includes 58 Starlink satellites and three of Planet’s SkySats as the third rideshare payload.
Enjoy our photos of the Falcon 9 on pad 40 taken by the Space UpClose team of Jean Wright and Ken Kremer.
You can watch the launch live via SpaceX webcast: spacex.com/launches.
Live launch coverage will begin about 15 minutes before liftoff.
The weather outlook currently shows a 80% chance of acceptable conditions at launch time.
The primary concerns are the Cumulus Cloud Rule rule.
In case of a delay another launch opportunity is available 24 hours later on Wednesday, Aug. 19 with the same weather odds of 80% acceptable.
If all goes well the Starlink constellation will increase to nearly 660 satellites total.
Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported the Telstar 18 VANTAGE mission in September 2018, the Iridium-8 mission in January 2019, and three separate Starlink missions in May 2019, January 2020, and June 2020.
Falcon 9’s booster supporting this mission previously launched Telstar 18 VANTAGE, Iridium-8, and three separate Starlink flights pic.twitter.com/Dwc7EXFiiL
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 17, 2020
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. Falcon 9’s fairing previously flew on the fourth launch of Starlink.
Planet’s SkySats will deploy sequentially beginning about 12 and a half minutes after liftoff, and the Starlink satellites will deploy approximately 46 minutes after liftoff.
Droneship OCISLY is waiting at its stationing position some 400 mi (640 km) north east of KSC off the coast of the Carolina’s
SpaceX also dispatched their two special fairing boats GO MS TREE and GO MS CHIEF to retrieve the payload fairing halves.
The two stage Falcon 9 rocket stands 229 feet (70 meters) tall.
Watch my Aug. 14 guest host and Aug 3 interview appearances at ‘Stay Curious’ show at the American Space Museum about successful Mars Perseverance launch, successful splashdown SpaceX Crew Dragon on Demo-2 1st commercial mission as well as upcoming Crew-1, Artemis Moon mission, SpaceX Starlink and more:
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Commercial Crew and Artemis and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.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.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events