SpaceX aims to launch its 16th batch of its Starlink broadband satellites on Saturday, which is looking to be a busy day for Elon Musk’s company.
Boosting a new group of its orbiting routers has become a matter of routine for SpaceX as it works to build up a mega-constellation
with thousands of the individual satellites in a low-Earth orbit. But this mission stands to put a few feathers in Musk’s cap.
The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket is set to make its seventh flight, which would be a record for rocket recycling for the company. The booster previously flew on four Starlink missions and a pair of larger telecom satellite launches.
SpaceX will likely attempt to land the booster on a droneship in the Atlantic shortly after launch and may also try to catch the two halves of the nose cone or fairing with another pair of ships.
This all happens just about 10 hours after SpaceX is scheduled to perform another big launch on the other side of the country. On Saturday morning, another Falcon 9 will blast off from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California carrying the new NASA/European Space Agency Sentinel 6 Michael Freilich satellite designed to monitor global sea level rise and improve weather forecasting.
That launch is currently scheduled for 9:17 a.m. PT and you can findin our earlier coverage.
The Saturday evening Starlink launch is set for 7:17 p.m. PT (10:17 p.m. ET) on Saturday. You can watch the whole thing right here. We’ll add the livestream to this post once it becomes available.