SpaceX is set to launch 22 V2 mini Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 7:34 p.m. ET (23:34 UTC) today, July 22nd. With the Falcon 9 booster set to launch, it will be the 6th mission of the month for SpaceX.
The V2 mini-satellites are capable of handling 4x times the bandwidth of their predecessors, and feature improved thrust for better on-orbit maneuvering using new Argon Hall thrusters. Since their debut in February 2023, SpaceX has launched 123 of the upgraded satellites, 11 of which have deorbited.
The Falcon 9 set for this mission is Booster 1076, having previously supported the launches of 2 Starlink missions, 2 commercial payloads, and an ISS resupply mission. This will be the 6th launch and landing of this booster, which will attempt landing on the droneship ‘Just Read the Instructions’ approximately 8 and a half minutes after lift off.
The current weather outlook for this mission shows a 40% chance of acceptable conditions at lift-off, however, SpaceX has multiple opportunities extending until 10:56 p.m. ET (02:56 July 23rd) with the weather improving to an 85% chance of acceptable conditions at the end of the window. If they are unable to launch on the 22nd, there is also a launch window on the evening of July 23rd between 7:09 p.m. ET and 10:31 p.m. ET.
The launch of the Falcon 9 and V2 mini-satellites tonight will be a great opportunity to witness a spectacular display of the power of space exploration. With the launch set ~45 minutes before sunset, it could be quite a sight to see, and be sure to follow along with the SpaceX webcast!