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Watch SpaceX launch 53 Starlink satellites, land rocket at sea tonight

Watch SpaceX launch 53 Starlink satellites, land rocket at sea tonight

SpaceX will launch another big batch of its Starlink broadband satellites and land a rocket on a ship at sea Thursday (Oct. 27), and you can watch it live.

A Falcon 9 rocket topped with 53 Starlink satellites is scheduled to lift off from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base Thursday at 9:14 p.m. EDT (6:14 p.m. local California time; 0114 GMT on Oct. 28).

If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth and made a pinpoint landing a little less than nine minutes after launch on the SpaceX droneship Of Course I Still Love You, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

Related: SpaceX’s Starlink megaconstellation launches in photos

It will be the eighth liftoff and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description (opens in new tab). The rocket previously helped launch the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Earth-observation satellite in November 2020, NASA’s DART asteroid-smashing probe in November 2021, and five other Starlink missions. 

The Falcon 9’s upper stage, meanwhile, will continue powering its way to orbit, eventually deploying the 53 Starlinks around 15.5 minutes after launch.

SpaceX has already launched more than 3,500 satellites (opens in new tab) for Starlink, its internet megaconstellation, which already provides service to customers around the world.

Many of those spacecraft have gone up this year. SpaceX has launched 48 orbital missions already in 2022, and nearly two-thirds of them have ferried big Starlink batches skyward. 

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the launch time for SpaceX’s Starlink launch.

Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).  

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Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with (opens in new tab) and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, “Out There,” was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.

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