Here’s what to know before taking off from Cape Town

Here’s what to know before taking off from Cape Town

It’s launch day!

SpaceX’s Starlink 6-17 mission, which is scheduled to send 22 additional Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit, is scheduled to launch at 10:47 PM EDT on Tuesday, September 19.

If necessary, four backup launch opportunities are available between 11:38 PM and 1:46 AM EST on Wednesday, September 20.

The Starlink Internet satellite constellation is packed into a Falcon 9 rocket’s 230-foot-tall payload.

After a short flight from Launch Complex 40 along the southeast path, the first stage booster is scheduled to target a drone ship landing at sea about eight minutes after liftoff.

Check back for updates on Space Team’s live launch coverage which will be posted on this page starting 90 minutes before the window opens. When a SpaceX live stream hosted on X (formerly Twitter) becomes available approximately five minutes before liftoff, it will be made available at the top of this page.

For the latest schedule updates, visit

The Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron pegs the odds of “launch” conditions at 60 percent for a potential launch.

“The most likely weather disturbance that will occur during the initial launch opportunity is cumulonimbus clouds associated with onshore moving rain,” the squadron forecast said.

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Meteorologists at the National Weather Service station in Melbourne are forecasting a 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday night at Space Force Station, with a low around 74 degrees, mostly cloudy skies, and an east-northeast wind of 5 to 10 mph. per hour.

If timelines hold, this will be the 50th Space Coast launch this year.

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  • It will host the Cape Canaveral Space Station’s Launch Complex 40.
  • The payload is the company’s next batch of Internet-broadcasting Starlink satellites.
  • The 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket will follow a southeast trajectory between Florida and the Bahamas.

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  • If it launches on time, it will mark the 50th Space Coast launch this year.
  • There are no local sound spikes with this task.
  • The 130-foot-long first-stage booster will target a landing drone ship about eight minutes after liftoff.
  • This will mark the 17th mission of this first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.

More SpaceX Starlink missions are expected to launch soon from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, but the company has not yet announced a target date for the next mission. For the latest schedule updates, visit

Rick Neale is FLORIDA TODAY’s South Brevard Watchdog reporter (For more of his stories, click here.) Call Neale at 321-242-3638 or [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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