SpaceX is poised to launch yet another batch of its Starlink internet satellites to orbit tonight (Dec. 6).
A Falcon 9 rocket topped with 23 Starlink spacecraft is scheduled to lift off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 11:01 p.m. EST (0401 GMT on Dec. 7), on SpaceX’s 90th orbital mission of 2023.
You can watch the action live via SpaceX’s account on X (formerly known as Twitter). Coverage will begin about five minutes before the launch window opens.
If all goes according to plan, the rocket’s first stage will come back to Earth for a vertical landing about 8.5 minutes after launch. It will touch down on the SpaceX droneship “Just Read the Instructions,” which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast.
It will be the ninth launch and landing for this particular booster, according to the mission description.
Starlink is SpaceX’s huge and ever-growing broadband megaconstellation, which beams internet service down to people around the world. The network currently consists of more than 5,100 active satellites, according to astrophysicist and satellite tracker Jonathan McDowell.
SpaceX extends its flight-cadence record with every liftoff these days. The company’s previous annual mark, 61 launches, was set last year. But we should expect even more spaceflight action next year: SpaceX representatives have said they’re shooting for 144 launches in 2024.