SpaceX is set to launch a new batch of satellites for its Starlink internet service from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The mission, designated Starlink Group 7-2, will deploy 21 second-generation Starlink satellites into orbit. These satellites, known as the V2 Mini, are a condensed version of the full-sized V2 Starlink satellites. The launch will mark the 18th mission for the V2 Mini series.
The Falcon 9 rocket will lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base and the first stage will fire for approximately two and a half minutes before the second stage takes over. The first stage booster, tailnumber B1071, will attempt a landing on the drone ship ‘Of Course I still Love You’ located off the coast of Baja California. If successful, the booster will touch down approximately eight and a half minutes after launch.
The second stage will complete its first burn to reach an initial parking orbit and then coast for about 45 minutes. It will then perform a two-second firing to reach the intended orbit. The deployment of the 21 satellites is scheduled to occur approximately one hour and two minutes after liftoff.
As of now, SpaceX has launched a total of 5,070 Starlink satellites, according to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The company announced in May that it had over 1.5 million Starlink subscribers and the service is available in more than 60 countries.
Stay tuned for live coverage of the launch on our Launch Pad Live stream.