SpaceX is targeting its 80th mission of the year tonight with the launch of a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida no earlier than 11:31 p.m. ET (04:31 UTC on the 8th), per the company’s website.
This Starlink mission represents the 76th Falcon 9 mission of the year and the 46th from Space Launch Complex 40.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 6, 2023
23 V2 mini Starlink satellites will be sent into a 43-degree orbital inclination, with deployment coming just over an hour after launch. The Falcon 9 assigned to this mission is Booster 1073 and will be flying for its 11th time. This booster has previously launched 6 Starlink missions, two communications satellites, the Hakuto-R lunar mission, and 1 Space Station resupply mission.
Following its portion of the flight, B1073 will land on the droneship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ approximately eight and a half minutes after lift-off. Speaking of JRTI, it had recently returned to Port Canaveral with B1077 following a Starlink mission. It was then turned around and prepped to head back to sea just 12 hours later, showcasing the smooth flow SpaceX has developed with drone ships and the fleet overall.
With just less than two months remaining in the year, SpaceX is aiming to launch 100 missions this year and will add to the count with two more launches scheduled later this week.
SpaceX and NASA are currently targeting 8:28 p.m. ET Thursday, November 9th, for the launch of the CRS-28 resupply mission to the International Space Station, and on the 11th, SpaceX is readying the Transporter 9 mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, both of these launches will see the first stages return to their landings sites following launch.
If SpaceX cannot launch the Starlink mission later tonight, they have seven more opportunities stretching until 2:59 a.m. ET. Weather shouldn’t be an issue tonight, though, with the 45th Space Weather Squadron showing a less than 5 percent chance of violating weather criteria.
If you want to watch the launch, SpaceX will begin the live stream on X 5 minutes before lift-off.