SpaceX aims to launch before sunset from Cape Canaveral –

SpaceX is hoping to send the next batch of Starlink satellites from the Space Force Station at Cape Canaveral on Saturday night.

Falcon 9, carrying 22 broadband satellites, has its first target window approximately 45 minutes before sunset at 7:34 pm from Spaceport Canaveral 40 with three backups between 9:15 pm–10:56 pm. Further launch opportunities fall on Sunday from 19:09–22:31.

Space Launch Delta 45 Weather Squadron predicts only a 40% chance of good conditions for the first launch window, but that rises to 85% by the end of the launch window on Saturday. Sunday conditions are similar with a 30% chance for good conditions that improves to 80% through a window.

The mission’s first-stage booster is making its sixth flight and will attempt a recovery landing on the Just Read the Instructions drone craft in the Atlantic.

This will be the 36th orbital launch from Space Coast in 2023, and all but two will be manufactured by SpaceX.

Including missions in California, this will be SpaceX’s 49th orbital launch of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets in a year.

Of these, it will be the 26th dedicated Starlink this year, and the 96th since the growing constellation’s first operational deployment in 2019, according to statistics tracked by astronomer Jonathan McDowell. To date, the company has already launched more than 4,800 satellites with FCC approval and has increased the number to 7,500.

Most of them are smaller versions of the satellite that SpaceX can launch in batches of 50 at a time. The latest versions are larger and will only be produced in batches of 22. An even larger version is planned for the time SpaceX puts its Starship and Super Heavy rockets in development into service.

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