SpaceX Plans Two Starlink Launches on Feb. 4, Less than 5 Hours Apart [Update]

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Starlink june 3 2020

Image via SpaceX

SpaceX was planning to launch its Starlink-17 mission on Wednesday, but now has pushed it back to Thursday, to join the Starlink-18 mission’s launch day.

On Tuesday evening, SpaceX said, “Now targeting two Falcon 9 launches of Starlink satellites on Thursday, February 4, pending range acceptance and recovery weather conditions. First Falcon 9 launch at 1:19 a.m. EST from SLC-40, followed by another Falcon 9 launch ~4 hours later at 5:36 a.m. EST from LC-39A.”

Falcon 9 is SpaceX’s reusable rocket that has launched previous batches of Starlink satellites (60 per launch) into space. The Starlink satellite constellation is a low-earth orbit system that hovers 550km (341 miles) above Earth, allowing for high-speed broadband to rural areas.

Due to its lower orbit compared to traditional internet satellites, which are much higher up at about 36,000km (22,369 miles), Starlink offers lower latency, or the time it takes a signal to reach its destination, allowing for video calling and online gaming, previously unattainable in rural areas.

Starlink’s 18th mission will launch first at Space Launch Complex 40 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Wednesday, February 3 at 10:19pm PST (Thursday, February 4 at 1:19am EST).

Then, just over four hours later, the Starlink-17 mission will launch from Launch Complex 39A from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, at 2:36am PST/5:36am EST.

Both are night launches and should offer spectacular sights, with each Falcon 9 set to land on autonomous droneships in the Atlantic Ocean.

Currently, Starlink’s internet is in beta form, only available in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Click here to learn how to sign up for Starlink’s beta right away.

Update: Starlink-17 has been pushed back to February 5:

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