SpaceX Starlink 5-4 Rocket Launch Tonight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – The launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink satellites is targeted to liftoff at 12:10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, February 12, 2023, from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

“If needed, there are additional launch opportunities the same day at 1:51 a.m. ET (06:51 UTC), and 3:32 a.m. ET (08:32 UTC), with backup opportunities also available on Sunday, February 12 at 11:55 p.m. ET (04:55 UTC on February 13) and on Monday, February 13 at 1:39 a.m. ET (06:39 UTC), and 3:07 a.m. ET (08:07 UTC),” Spacex stated.


Launch Weather 30% ‘GO’

According to the latest forecast from the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is only a 30% chance of favorable weather for launch.

The primary weather concern is liftoff winds.

Attempted Landing On Drone Ship

Following stage separation, the first stage of the Falcon 9 Block 5 will attempt a landing on an autonomous drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas in the Atlantic Ocean.

Starlink Payload
Starlink’s flat-panel design allows for a dense launch stack to take full advantage of Falcon 9’s launch capabilities

This is the tenth SpaceX launch this year.

The 60 Starlink satellites are part of a next-generation satellite network developed by SpaceX to provide the globe with reliable and affordable broadband internet services.

Each Starlink satellite weighs approximately 500 lbs. (227kg) and features a flat-panel design with multiple high-throughput antennas and a single solar array.

SpaceX designed Starlink to connect end-users with low latency, high bandwidth broadband services by providing continual coverage around the world using a network of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit.

Starlink Hall Thruster

Starlink satellites feature Hall thrusters powered by krypton to adjust position on orbit, maintain intended altitude, and de-orbit.

A Hall thruster is a type of electric propulsion device that produces thrust by ionizing and accelerating a noble gas, usually xenon.

While producing comparatively low thrust relative to conventional rocket engines, Hall thrusters provide significantly greater specific impulse or fuel economy.

This results in increased payload carrying capacity and a greater number of on-orbit maneuvers for a spacecraft using Hall thrusters rather than traditional rocket engines.

Starlink Space Junk Avoidance

Starlink satellites are capable of tracking on-orbit debris and autonomously avoiding a collision.

95 percent of all components of this Starlink satellite design will quickly burn in Earth’s atmosphere at the end of each satellite’s life cycle which exceeds all current safety standards.

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