SpaceX is launching rockets at a rapid rate these days, deploying satellites not only for its internet-providing Starlink service, but also for a host of other companies as part of its recently launched Smallsat Rideshare Program.
Later this week, SpaceX is set to launch an Earth-observing satellite called Saocom 1B for Argentina’s CONAE space agency, as well as a commercial radar imaging satellite for California-based Capella Space, and a weather data satellite for Colorado-based PlanetiQ.
What makes this latest mission a little different from recent ones is that SpaceX will be attempting an on-shore landing, its first since March 2020. For the last five months, its first-stage Falcon 9 boosters have been returning to a SpaceX drone ship stationed off the Florida coast, but the flight trajectory of this particular mission will result in the booster coming down on land.
When is the launch?
As things currently stand, the mission is set to lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida at 7:19 p.m. ET on Friday, August 28. The booster should land back on terra firma around eight minutes after launch. It’s advisable to check SpaceX’s Twitter or Facebook account for the latest updates regarding launch times, though we’ll endeavor to post any updates here just as soon as we hear about them.
What to look out for
Enjoy the awesome sight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket soaring skyward, and also the amazing moment the booster returns to Earth and lands upright, a feat that never ceases to amaze. SpaceX may offer coverage of the satellite deployments, too, as well as footage of its net-equipped ships attempting to catch the rocket’s nose cone as it returns to Earth in two parts, a tricky maneuver that it appears to be close to nailing.
How to watch
SpaceX will livestream the launch and landing on its YouTube channel. We’ll also embed a livestream of the event at the top of this page as soon as it becomes available.
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