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Conditions should be mostly solid for the weekend launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, a mission flying during a primetime window on Saturday.
Forecasters with the Space Force’s Space Launch Delta 45 on Thursday said weather around Launch Complex 40 should be 70% “go” during an instantaneous window at 4:38 p.m. EDT. A 230-foot Falcon 9 rocket will take a batch of Starlink internet satellites to low-Earth orbit.
“Forecast soundings show the presence of deep southwesterly winds above the surface,” forecasters said in their latest report. “This could help bring anvil clouds back over the spaceport during the count.”
The potential for cumulus and anvil clouds were noted as the main concerns ahead of liftoff, while downrange upper-level winds and conditions for a drone ship recovery were both listed as “low risk.”
Back on the ground, spectators should see comfortable conditions: roughly 83 degrees, 10 to 15 mph winds, and lower-than-usual humidity at 59%. Falcon 9 will fly toward the northeast.
In the event of a delay to Sunday, the forecast and “percent go” remain the same.
Saturday’s launch marks the 47th for the Starlink internet constellation rapidly pushing to 2,500 operational satellites. The network was recently selected to provide free in-flight internet to passengers on Hawaiian Airlines flights; on the other side of the world, Ukrainian forces continue to use Starlink to coordinate their defense against Russia’s invasion. SpaceX founder Elon Musk on Wednesday said Russian attempts to hack and bring down the network have been unsuccessful so far.
For the latest, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
Contact Emre Kelly at email@example.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @EmreKelly.
Launch Saturday, May 14
- Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
- Mission: 47th Starlink launch
- Launch Time: 4:38 p.m. EDT
- Launch Complex: 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
- Trajectory: Northeast
- Landing: Drone ship
- Weather: 70% “go”
Visit floridatoday.com/space at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday, May 14, for real-time updates and video of launch.