SpaceX plans to launch another big batch of internet satellites for the communications company OneWeb on Sunday night (Jan. 8), and you can watch the action live.
A Falcon 9 rocket topped with 40 of OneWeb’s broadband satellites is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Sunday at 11:55 p.m. EST (0455 GMT on Jan. 9).
Watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company (opens in new tab). Coverage will begin about 15 minutes before launch.
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If all goes according to plan, the Falcon 9’s first stage will come back to Earth for a touchdown at Cape Canaveral’s Landing Zone 1 about eight minutes after launch.
It will be the second landing for this particular booster, which also launched SpaceX’s robotic CRS-26 cargo mission to the International Space Station for NASA on Nov. 26 of last year.
The Falcon 9’s upper stage will continue carrying the 40 OneWeb satellites to low Earth orbit. The spacecraft will be deployed over a roughly 37-minute span starting about 58 minutes after liftoff.
OneWeb is assembling a network of 648 satellites that will provide internet service to customers around the world. The London-based company has already lofted 502 of those spacecraft, mostly aboard Russian-built Soyuz rockets operated by French outfit Arianespace.
But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 put an end to the Russian partnership with Arianespace, forcing OneWeb to find other rocket rides. OneWeb did so, quickly signing launch deals with SpaceX and NewSpace India Limited, the Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial arm.
OneWeb has flown once to date with each of those two new providers; 36 of its satellites went up on an Indian Launch Vehicle Mark-3 this past October, and a Falcon 9 lofted another 40 last month.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).