SpaceX was forced to postpone its scheduled Starlink satellite launch on Feb. 28, just one minute and 24 seconds before liftoff. The system unexpectedly auto-aborted the mission despite the rocket being fully operational. SpaceX will attempt its Starfleet satellite launch again tonight, giving you another chance to catch it live.
When and where to watch
The launch will take place from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and there are three ways to watch it unfold, all free and online. You can watch live at Space.com or through SpaceX’s YouTube channel. You can also tune in directly on SpaceX’s website. The rescheduled launch will take place tonight, March 1, at 8:15pm ET. The broadcast will begin 15 minutes before liftoff, so be sure to log on early to catch the countdown.
This is SpaceX’s sixth launch of 2021, and one of at least 40 launches it plans to execute this year, doubling its numbers from 2020. The hope is that the booster and rocket will be able to make ten full journeys before requiring major maintenance.
What is the SpaceX launch for?
The mission plans to send a fleet of 60 satellites into orbit using the Falcon 9 rocket with a B1049 booster, adding to the 1,000 already circling the planet (not including 200 prototypes sent during test launches). All told, SpaceX plans to launch a total of 1,440 satellites into low-level orbit around the earth to complete the Starlink network, which aims to provide comprehensive commercial internet service to locations where service is currently unstable or otherwise unavailable. (Of course: just when you’ve gotten 5G, a new network pops up).
“At a time when more people are working from home and more students are participating in virtual learning, internet connectivity is more important than ever,” SpaceX said in a statement. “With Starlink, we are able to deploy quickly to areas that need it most.” The internet service is set to roll out later this year.