SpaceX begins launching Starlink second generation constellation

SpaceX is set to launch a batch of 54 Starlink internet satellites – Starlink Group 5-1 – into low Earth orbit (LEO) this Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. Liftoff is scheduled to occur at 4:40 AM EST (09:40 UTC) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS) in Florida. Starlink Group 5-1 is the first flight dedicated to the second generation (Gen 2) Starlink constellation.  Previous flights have been filling the first generation (Gen 1) Starlink constellation, which SpaceX began launching in May 2019.  The official weather forecast from the 45th Weather Squadron at CCSFS calls for a greater than 90% chance of favorable weather conditions on the primary launch day and a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions on the next day. For additional risk criteria, the forecast shows a moderate risk of bad weather conditions for booster recovery on the primary launch day. The Falcon 9 countdown for Wednesday’s launch will follow the now traditional 35-minute-long automated propellant load sequence. At T-3 seconds the engine controller will send the ignition command to all nine Merlin 1D engines on the first stage which will ramp up to full power in around 2.8…

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SpaceX begins launching Starlink second generation constellation

Updated: December 27, 2022 — 9:26 pm