SpaceX plans to launch a commercial communications satellite into orbit on Sunday (February 5), and you can watch the action live.
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying Spanish company Hispasat’s Amazonas Nexus satellite is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Sunday at 5:32 p.m. EST (2232 GMT). There’s a 55% chance the weather will be good enough for a launch, SpaceX said via Twitter (opens in a new tab) Friday (February 3).
Watch it live here on Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly through the company (opens in a new tab). Coverage will begin approximately 15 minutes before launch.
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If all goes as planned, the Falcon 9 first stage will return to Earth for a vertical landing 8.5 minutes after liftoff from the SpaceX Just Read the Instructions drone, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida. .
This will be the sixth takeoff and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description. (opens in a new tab). The rocket also carried the SES-22 communications satellite, the Hakuto-R lunar lander for Tokyo-based ispace, and three batches of SpaceX’s Starlink internet satellites.
Falcon 9’s upper stage will continue to carry the Amazonas Nexus skyward, eventually deploying the 10,000-pound (4,500 kilogram) satellite into geostationary transfer orbit just under 36 minutes after liftoff.
Amazonas Nexus will then spend more than six months heading into geostationary orbit, about 22,200 miles (35,700 kilometers) above Earth. Hispasat will perform a few weeks of checkouts with the spacecraft, then slip it into its final orbit and put the satellite to work providing internet service to large swaths of the globe.
Amazonas Nexus “will cover the entire continental United States, Greenland, and the North and South Atlantic corridors and will focus on connectivity services in remote areas and in air and sea mobility environments,” Hispasat wrote in a pre-launch press release. (opens in a new tab).
“Hispasat has entered into several commercial agreements to lease the capacity on a long-term basis [of] Amazonas Nexus with operators and service providers in government and connectivity for the aviation sector and in remote areas,” the company added.
Sunday’s launch will already be SpaceX’s ninth in 2023, helping the company break its single-year launch record of 61, set in 2022.
Mike Wall is the author of “Over there (opens in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in a new tab). Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new tab) Or Facebook (opens in a new tab).