Watch SpaceX launch 49 Starlink internet satellites to orbit Tuesday after delays
Update for 12:15 pm EST on Jan. 30: SpaceX has delayed this Starlink launch again, to Tuesday (Jan. 31), to allow more time for prelaunch checks. This follows previous delays, from Sunday (Jan. 29) to Monday morning (Jan. 30), and then to Monday afternoon, for the same stated reason.
SpaceX plans to launch another set of its Starlink broadband satellites to orbit on Tuesday (Jan. 31), and you can watch the action live.
A Falcon 9 rocket topped with 49 Starlink spacecraft, as well as a rideshare payload from the Italy-based company D-Orbit, is scheduled to lift off Tuesday from California's Vandenberg Space Force Base at 11:15 a.m. EST (1615 GMT, 8:15 a.m. local California time.)
Watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company. Coverage will start about five minutes before launch.
Related: 10 weird things about SpaceX's Starlink internet satellites
If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9's first stage will come back to Earth 8.5 minutes after liftoff for a touchdown on SpaceX's Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.
It will be the seventh launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description.
The rocket's upper stage will continue carrying the 50 payloads to low Earth orbit. It will deploy D-Orbit's Ion Satellite Carrier Vehicle #9 (SCV009), an orbital transfer craft capable of carrying a number of payloads of its own, about 58 minutes after launch. It's unclear what payloads SCV009, which D-Orbit calls Eclectic Elena, is hauling on this mission.
The Falcon 9's upper stage will then deploy the 49 Starlink satellites one hour and 17 minutes after launch, if all goes to plan.
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SpaceX has already launched nearly 3,800 Starlink satellites, and the huge constellation will continue to grow for quite some time: The company has permission to loft 12,000 of the internet spacecraft and has applied for approval to deploy about 30,000 more on top of that.
Monday's liftoff will be the seventh of the year already for SpaceX, and the third Starlink mission of 2023. Though it's still very early, Elon Musk's company is on pace to break its single-year record of 61 orbital launches, which it set last year.
Editor's note: This story was updated at 11:10 a.m. ET on Jan. 29 with the new launch date of Jan. 30. Liftoff had been scheduled for Jan. 29, but SpaceX pushed things back a day to finish prelaunch checkouts.
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.