Updates: SpaceX launched an early Thursday morning Falcon 9 Starlink mission from KSC
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Update: Liftoff of Falcon 9 at 2:58 a.m. EST! The rocket boosted 53 Starlink satellites to orbit then landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Read our full post-launch story here.
Follow live updates as SpaceX targets 2:43 a.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 2, for the launch of a 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket from Pad 39-A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
If everything goes according to plan, 53 internet-beaming Starlink satellites will be lofted joining the more than 3,600 already in orbit. Shortly after liftoff, the Falcon 9's first stage will target a drone ship landing in the Atlantic Ocean. Payload deployment is expected a little over an hour after liftoff.
Weather conditions are expected to be greater than 90% "go" for liftoff, according to Space Launch Delta 45 forecasters with the U.S. Space Force.
For the latest, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
Updates from Thursday's event below:
The Falcon 9 has landed
3:08 a.m.: The Falcon 9 first-stage booster has landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
2:58 a.m.: The Falcon 9 has lifted off from Pad 39-A at Kennedy Space Center carrying 53 Starlink satellites to orbit.
T-minus five minutes
2:53 a.m.: Less than five minutes remaining until the liftoff of a Falcon 9 from Pad 39-A at Kennedy Space Center. Here's a look at the post-launch timeline:
00:01:12 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
00:02:28 1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
00:02:31 1st and 2nd stages separate
00:02:38 2nd stage engine starts (SES-1)
00:02:43 Fairing deployment
00:06:41 1st stage entry burn begins
00:07:00 1st stage entry burn ends
00:08:23 1st stage landing burn begins
00:08:35 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
00:08:44 1st stage landing
01:03:56 Starlink satellites deploy
Under 10 minutes until launch
2:48 a.m.: Everything continues to proceed as expected with the fueling of the Falcon 9 ahead of a 2:58 a.m. liftoff. Here are the remaining milestones for the rest of the countdown:
00:07:00 Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
00:01:00 Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks
00:01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
00:00:45 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
00:00:03 Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
00:00:00 Falcon 9 liftoff
"Go" for fueling
2:23 a.m.: SpaceX reports that the poll to move into the fueling the Falcon 9 is "go" to begin loading the Falcon 9 with propellant ahead of today's 2:58 a.m. liftoff attempt.
New launch time
1:57 a.m.: SpaceX has confirmed a new liftoff time of 2:58 a.m., a shift about 15 minutes later than originally expected. Still no update about the status of fueling. Weather remains 90% "go" during today's window. Stay tuned.
Welcome to live coverage
1:40 a.m.: Good morning, and welcome to live coverage of today's 69th Starlink Falcon 9 launch for SpaceX.
SpaceX is counting down to a launch attempt this morning at 2:43 a.m. from Kennedy Space Center. If needed, there are two other opportunities for launch at 4:24 a.m.and 6:05 a.m.
Right now, the weather looks great for an on time liftoff. Just a few thin, patchy clouds in the area. Space Force forecasters previously predicted a greater than 90% chance of "go" conditions throughout this morning's window.
We should hear from the SpaceX Launch Director in about 20 minutes as to whether or not fueling will begin on time for a 2:43 a.m. liftoff.
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Updates: SpaceX launched an early morning Falcon 9 mission from KSC