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Starlink mission Tuesday from Cape Canaveral

Starlink mission Tuesday from Cape Canaveral

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Launch summary: Scroll down to review live coverage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's liftoff on Tuesday, April 23, from Cape Canaveral, which marked the 300th landing of a Falcon rocket.

Welcome to FLORIDA TODAY's Space Team's live coverage of the SpaceX Starlink 6-53 mission tonight from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

SpaceX officials postponed the mission's initial launch window Monday night as they face severe weather forecasts. Now, SpaceX is targeting a Falcon 9 rocket launch at 6:17 PM EST from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Falcon 9 will deploy another constellation of 23 Starlink internet satellites, which are positioned within the fascia atop the 230-foot-tall rocket.

No sonic booms are expected in central Florida during the Starlink 6-53 mission. After soaring toward the sky along a southeast trajectory, the rocket's first stage booster will aim to land on a drone ship at sea 8 and a half minutes after liftoff.

Cape Canaveral: Is there a launch today? Upcoming rocket launch schedule for SpaceX, ULA and NASA in Florida

Update 6:25 p.m.: The first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket has just landed on a SpaceX drone ship, just read the instructions, in the Atlantic Ocean, completing its ninth mission.

Update 6:17 p.m.: SpaceX just launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 23 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Update 6:12 p.m.: The SpaceX launch webcast hosted on X (formerly Twitter) is now posted above, directly below the countdown clock.

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Liftoff is scheduled for five minutes from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Update 6:04 PM: SpaceX said tonight's mission marks the ninth flight of the Falcon 9 first-stage rocket.

The booster has previously launched Crew-6, SES O3b mPOWER, USSF-124, and five Starlink missions.

After stage separation, the crew expects the booster to land on the Read Instructions Only drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean 8 minutes and 31 seconds after liftoff.

Update 5:56 p.m.: “All systems and weather look good for today’s launch from Florida,” SpaceX officials announced in a tweet.

Update 5:50 p.m.: Brevard County Emergency Management officials have activated the agency's launch support team ahead of SpaceX's upcoming Falcon 9 launch.

Update 5:43 p.m.: Refueling procedures for the Falcon 9 rocket are now underway at Launch Complex 40, SpaceX has just announced.

This means tonight's Starlink countdown is now over for liftoff at 6:17pm without any delay, otherwise the launch must be postponed.

Update 5:29 p.m.: Here's a breakdown of SpaceX's behind-the-scenes countdown timeline. T minus:

  • 38 minutes: SpaceX's launch director checks the “launch” of propellant loading.
  • 35 minutes: The loading of rocket kerosene and the first stage of liquid oxygen begins.
  • 16 minutes: The second stage of liquid oxygen loading begins.
  • 7 minutes: The Falcon 9 begins engine cooling before launch.
  • 1 minute: The flight command computer begins final pre-launch checks; The fuel tank pressure starts until it reaches cruising pressure.
  • 45 seconds: SpaceX's launch director checks the “go” for the launch.
  • 3 seconds: The engine control module controls the start of the engine ignition sequence.
  • 0 seconds: Leaves.
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Update 5:15 p.m.: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency navigational warnings indicate that SpaceX is targeting back-to-back rocket launch attempts on Saturday and Sunday from the Space Coast.

SpaceX has not yet announced these missions. But on Saturday night, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket may launch Galileo satellites for the European Space Agency's Global Navigation System between 8:29 p.m. and 9:11 p.m.

Then on Sunday, another Starlink launch window will open from 5:50pm to 10:21pm

Update 4:54 p.m.: The Space Force's 45th Weather Squadron pegged the odds for tonight's “lift to launch” weather at more than 95%.

“High pressure rapidly descends into the southeastern United States overnight (Monday), and is centered just offshore of northeast Florida on Tuesday. The proximity of the high center will keep the east-northeast flow light entering the launch window on Tuesday evening, but It also allows for a low crest and the swarm forecast said a mixed stratocumulus surface would flow onto the beach.

“These are not expected to be a weather concern at launch as their altitude will be limited by drier conditions,” the forecast said.

For the latest news and launch schedule from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and NASA's Kennedy Space Center, visit floridatoday.com/space.

Rick Neil He is Florida Today's space correspondent (for more of his stories, click here.) Call Neil on [email protected]. Twitter/X: @Rick Neal1

Space is important to us, which is why we work to provide the highest coverage of industry and launch operations in Florida. Such journalism requires time and resources. Please support him by subscribing here.

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