EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated to reflect new launch attempt May 23.
Follow the key events of the Falcon 9 rocket’s ascent to orbit 60 satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket will lift off Thursday during a 90-minute opening at 10:30 p.m. EDT (0230 GMT Friday) from the Complex 40 launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The Falcon 9 will head northeast from Cape Canaveral over the Atlantic Ocean to place the 60 Starlink satellites into a circular orbit around 273 miles (440 kilometers) above Earth.
The Falcon 9’s first stage will target a landing on SpaceX’s drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” in the Atlantic Ocean nearly 400 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral.
The first stage booster launching tonight previous flew on two missions — the Telstar 18 VANTAGE launch from Florida in September 2018 and SpaceX’s eighth mission for Iridium from California in January.
SpaceX fueled up a Falcon 9 rocket, ran through a mock countdown and fired the booster’s nine Merlin main engines Friday in a successful preflight static fire test officials hope will clear the way for liftoff Jan. 6 on a space station resupply mission.
A Japanese H-2A rocket lifted off from the Tanegashima Space Center at 0017:46 GMT Thursday (8:17:46 p.m. EDT Wednesday) with the Michibiki 2 navigation satellite designed to improve positioning and timing services over Japan.