SpaceX plans Jan 6 Starlink launch

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX is planning to launch a batch of Starlink satellites this week.

The launch, subject to the usual weather considerations, is scheduled for 16:49 EST (21.49 GMT), with a backup time available at 18:47 EST (23.47 GMT) on January 6th.

The SpaceX mission, officially dubbed Starlink 4-5 is looking to place the batch in an orbital plane of 53.2 degrees to the Equator. In order to achieve this orbital position the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch from the Kennedy Space Center but aimed southeast and to the North of the Bahama islands.

It is not known how many Starlink satellites will be on board but usually a SpaceX flight carries between 48-53 craft on each mission. The rocket’s booster is planned to land on the drone vessel, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’, waiting in the Atlantic.

Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s VP/Starlink commercial sales, said last month that the Starlink network is already providing internet service to consumers in more than 20 countries.

On January 13th, another SpaceX launch is planned. This mission will carry dozens of paying satellite customers on the rocket’s Transporter 3 flight with smaller satellites. This flight will see the rocket return to Earth and land at an onshore pad at Cape Canaveral.


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