Elon Musk is sending another SIXTY Starlink satellites into orbit tonight – and you can see them with the naked eye
SPACEX is hoping to launch more Starlink satellites into orbit tonight.
Avid stargazers will be able to watch live via a SpaceX YouTube link that’s currently counting down to the launch.
Falcon 9 is vertical on LC-39A ahead of our tenth Starlink mission, targeted for tomorrow at 11:59 a.m. EDT. Vehicle and payload look good; weather is 60% favorable → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 7, 2020
The launch is scheduled to take place today at 11:59am ET.
For SpaceX fans in the UK that will be 16:59 GMT.
The Starlink satellites will launch onboard a Falcon 9 rocket from the Nasa Kennedy Space Center site in Cape Canaveral in Florida, US.
Nasa’s website states: “SpaceX is scheduled to launch Starlink satellites from a Falcon 9.
Starlink satellites can be spotted without a telescope[/caption]
“This will be the 10th mission in support of the constellation of networked satellites known as Starlink.
“The goal of Starlink is to create a network that will help provide internet services to those who are not yet connected, and to provide reliable and affordable internet across the globe.”
SpaceX is known for postponing its launches at the last minute.
A recent tweet from the company said the weather was looking 60% favourable.
The last Starlink launch took place on June 3 at at 9:25 pm EDT[/caption]
If you want to see Starlink satellites in the sky with your own eyes then try visiting the Find Starlink website (or the “Find Starlink Satellites” app) and enter your location.
This will provide you with good times to see them in your area.
Starlink satellites are more visible just after a launch.
The Find Starlink website now has a message which states: “Hi there, unfortunately the older Starlink satellites are now difficult to see, as the company operating them has taken steps to reduce their brightness (to avoid disturbing astronomers).
“But on some rare occasions, those older Starlinks are still very bright, and some people are still able to see it everyday.
“So you can still try this app, and if you’re lucky it’ll be bright enough to be visible!
“The next Starlink launch is planned for July 8, and those new Starlinks will be very bright for a few days after that.”
How to track Starlink satellites in real-time
Not sure where to look? Your phone’s got you covered.
There are a number of stargazing apps you can use to follow the path of Starlink probes.
On the Apple App Store, we’d recommend Night Sky, which is free and helps you find all kinds of celestial wonders.
People watching a previous launch in Florida[/caption]
What is Starlink?
Starlink is a controversial scheme that aims to beam Wi-Fi to people from space using a “mega constellation” of thousands of satellites.
“With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet … Starlink will deliver high speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable,” the official website explains.
The project is the brainchild of tech billionaire Elon Musk, whose California-based rocket firm SpaceX builds and operates the satellites.
More than 420 have been launched so far, with the network eventually set to reach 12,000, rising to as many as 42,000 in the future.
SpaceX sends its satellites up in batches of 60 at a time. Each group is launched atop an unmanned Falcon 9 rocket built by SpaceX.
The solar-powered tech typically orbits around 340 miles above Earth.
How the probes will affect the night sky is causing concern as they sit in a low orbit, so appear brighter than stars and planets.
What is SpaceX?
Here’s what you need to know…
SpaceX was founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk who still has part ownership of the company with 54 per cent equity and 78 per cent voting control.
SpaceX is a private American aerospace manufacturer that is based in California.
It was founded in 2002 with the goal to build affordable rockets and enable the colonisation of Mars.
The manufacturer also aimed to reduce space transportation costs.
Since its creation, the firm has gained fame primarily as a pioneering rocket firm.
In 2008 it launched the first privately-funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit and later became the first private company to launch an object into orbit around the sun.
The company has grown dramatically over its lifespan, from 160 employees in November 2005 to around 7,000 as of November 2019.
As of March 2018, SpaceX had over 100 launches on its manifest representing about $12billion (£9.24billion) in contract revenue.
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Have you ever seen a Starlink satellite? Let us know in the comments…
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