Recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 Goes Vertical for May 15 Sunset Saturday Starlink KSC Launch: Watch Live

Recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 Goes Vertical for May 15 Sunset Saturday Starlink KSC Launch: Watch Live
Recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 goes vertical Saturday morning for launch of Starlink L-26 mission with 52 Starlink internet satellites and two rideshare payloads at 6:54 PM ET May 15, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL –  Another recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is poised for liftoff near sunset Saturday, May 15, after going vertical at pad 39 with the next batch of Starlink broadband internet satellites this morning at Florida’s Spaceport.

SpaceX is targeting Saturday, May 15 for its next Starlink mission launching aboard the Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The instantaneous launch window is at 6:54 p.m. EDT, or 2254 GMT.

The payload aboard the Starlink L-26 mission includes 52 Starlink satellites and two rideshare payloads – namely the Capella Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite, and Tyvak-0130.

Artist’s concept of a Capella synthetic aperture radar satellite. Credit: Capella Space

Weather is decent at 70% favorable according to US Space Force forecasters with newly renamed Space Launch Delta 45

However there is a moderate risk to the booster recovery on the “Of Course I Still Love You” (OCISLY) droneship due to choppy sea states

SpaceX engineers rolled out the integrated Falcon 9 rocket and payload of 52 Starlink internet satellites and two rideshare payloads encapsulated in the recycled nose cone early this morning to pad 39A at KSC

 

In case of a delay a backup launch opportunity is available on Sunday, May 16 at 6:33 p.m. EDT, or 2233 GMT.

The Falcon 9 first stage booster that supported this mission previously launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and three Starlink missions.

Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean.

One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported the SXM-7 mission, and the other previously supported the NROL-108 mission.

 

Prior launch of a 9x recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket roars to orbit carrying 60 Starlink internet satellites on 26th mission (L25) on booster B1049 at 3:01 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, May 4, 2021, with NASA Pegasus barge in the foreground left that just delivered the 1st core stage for the agency’s SLS mega moon rocket at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

A live webcast of this mission will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff.

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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