SpaceX has readied its third rocket launch in three weeks, when the Elon Musk-owned space company plans to send into orbit another batch of its own satellites to bolster its Starlink satellite constellation. The SpaceX Starlink 9 mission will see a total of its 57 satellites launched as well as a secondary payload of two satellites for BlackSky.
Express.co.uk reveals all you need to know to watch the SpaceX Starlink mission launch on a live stream.
The Coronavirus pandemic has not disrupted a hectic yet successful launch SpaceX launch schedule.
This has included sending a pair of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from American soil for the first time since 2011.
Now Elon Musk’s SpaceX is preparing for another major landmark with its tenth Starlink launch.
Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious yet controversial plan to launch thousands of satellites into near-Earth orbit, with the aim of supplying internet to every corner of the globe.
The first of the 12,000 satellites were launched in May 2019, and month-by-month Elon Musk’s firm has steadily been increasing its numbers.
The plans were met with criticism from astronomers who revealed satellite constellations were obscuring the view of the cosmos.
Despite conceding Mr Musk’s Starlink project came with “good intentions”, astronomers are concerned about how it will affect their understanding of the universe and what it contains.
Last year, the International Astronomical Union announced: “The scientific concerns are twofold.
“Firstly, the surfaces of these satellites are often made of highly reflective metal, and reflections from the Sun in the hours after sunset and before sunrise make them appear as slow-moving dots in the night sky.
“Although most of these reflections may be so faint that they are hard to pick out with the naked eye, they can be detrimental to the sensitive capabilities of large ground-based astronomical telescopes, including the extreme wide-angle survey telescopes currently under construction.
“Secondly, despite notable efforts to avoid interfering with radio astronomy frequencies, aggregate radio signals emitted from the satellite constellations can still threaten astronomical observations at radio wavelengths.
“Recent advances in radio astronomy, such as producing the first image of a black hole or understanding more about the formation of planetary systems, were only possible through concerted efforts in safeguarding the radio sky from interference.”