Watch SpaceX launch 57 more Starlink satellites with its fourth launch in under a month

Darrell Etherington

UPDATE [1:45 p.m. EDT]: SpaceX has scrubbed the Starlink mission for today — it's unclear when it'll be reset for, but likely after the planned June 30 GPS satellite launch SpaceX has planned next.

SpaceX is launching yet another Starlink mission – its fourth in a month – on Thursday afternoon at 4:18 p.m. EDT (1:18 p.m. PDT). The launch will carry 57 of SpaceX's Starlink satellites, which will join the existing constellation in space in order to prepare for SpaceX's launch of Starlink broadband internet service.

Also on board the Falcon 9 rocket launching today are two BlackSky satellites, which will be used for BlackSky's Earth-imaging and data analytics services. This is another rideshare mission for SpaceX, organized under the program it introduced last year, which allows smaller operators to book rides on missions as part of shared payloads, allowing access to launch services for a starting price of around $1 million. SpaceX flew the first of these missions earlier this month, with a payload that included 58 of its Starlink satellites, alongside three satellites for client Planet.

The mission today will take off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the Falcon 9 booster used for this mission has flown four times previously, including for Crew Dragon's first uncrewed demonstration mission, as well as twice before for earlier Starlink missions. Re-use of the boosters, combined with rideshare arrangements, are probably helping significantly offset launch costs as SpaceX continues to grow its own Starlink constellation at a rapid clip.

For this launch, all the Starlink satellites are equipped with the deployable sun visor systems that SpaceX came up with to limit the reflectivity of Starlink overall, since it operates relatively close to Earth and has posed an interference hazard with Earth-based night sky observation.

The launch will also include a landing of the first stage booster. This is the fourth launch that SpaceX has done in just three weeks — including the historic crewed Dragon demonstration mission that took place on May 30. It's also the 10th Starlink launch to date. Next week, SpaceX has yet another launch scheduled for June 30 — a GPS satellite mission that is set to take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

More From

  • How Have I Been Pwned became the keeper of the internet's biggest data breaches

    When Troy Hunt launched Have I Been Pwned in late 2013, he wanted it to answer a simple question: Have you fallen victim to a data breach? Seven years later, the data-breach notification service processes thousands of requests each day from users who check to see if their data was compromised — or pwned with a hard 'p' — by the hundreds of data breaches in its database, including some of the largest breaches in history. As it's grown, now sitting just below the 10 billion breached-records mark, the answer to Hunt's original question is more clear.

  • The UK government to acquire satellite company OneWeb in deal funded in part by India's Bharti Global

    Distressed satellite constellation operator OneWeb, which had entered bankruptcy protection proceedings at the end of March, has completed a sale process, with a consortium led by the UK Government as the winner. The group, which includes funding from India's Bharti Global – part of business magnate Sunil Mittal's Bharti Enterprises – plan to pursue OneWeb's plans of building out a broadband internets satellite network, while the UK would also like to potentially use the constellation for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services in order to replace the EU's sat-nav resource, which the UK lost access to in January as a result of Brexit.

  • Lime puts Jump bikes back on London streets

    Jump bikes are returning to London — this time through its new owner Lime . London is the first city in Europe to see Jump bikes return since Uber offloaded the company to Lime in a complex deal that unfolded in May. Lime raised $170 million in a funding round led by Uber, along with other existing investors Alphabet, Bain Capital Ventures and GV. As part of the deal, Lime acquired Jump, the electric bike and scooter division that Uber acquired in 2018 for around $200 million.

  • Intel to invest $253.5 million in India's Reliance Jio Platforms

    Intel said on Friday it will invest $253.5 million in Jio Platforms, joining a roster of high-profile investors including Facebook, General Atlantic, and Silver Lake that have backed India’s top telecom operator in recent months. The American chipmaker's investment arm said it is acquiring a 0.39% stake in Jio Platforms, giving the Indian firm a valuation of $65 billion. Intel Capital is the 12th investor to buy a stake in Jio Platforms, which has raised more than $15.5 billion by selling a 25% stake since April this year.