SpaceX to launch 11th batch of Starlink satellites [live stream]

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will be launching the 11th batch of approximately 60 operational satellites for the Starlink broadband network in a mission designated Starlink 11.

The launch was initially scheduled for 29 August 2020 but was then delayed to 31 August, with the second launch being postponed at T-5 minutes due to bad weather, specifically strong winds.

Starlink 11: What you need to know

Time and place

The Falcon 9 will lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, at 8:46 Eastern Time (ET), or 14:46 South African Standard Time (SAST).

Today’s launch follows just days after SpaceX launched the SAOCOM 1B Earth observation satellite for Argentina’s space agency and two smaller satellites for PlanetiQ and Tyvak Nanosatellite Systems. 

SpaceX also confirmed that if anything goes wrong today, a backup opportunity will be available for Friday, 4 September 2020, at 8:24 Eastern Time (ET), or 14:24 South African Standard Time (SAST).

Watch: SpaceX’s Starlink 11 mission

Starlink 11 mission details

If all goes well today, SpaceX will land the Falcon 9’s first stage on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean, following stage separation.

The Falcon 9 first stage to be used in today’s mission previously supported the launch of the GPS III Space Vehicle 03 mission back in June 2020. The Starlink satellites will deploy approximately 14 minutes after liftoff.


The engine controller will command the engine ignition sequence to start three seconds after T-0, and the SpaceX Launch Director will verify go for launch less than a minute later.

Propellant tank pressurisation for the flight begins at T+1 while the command flight computers will begin the final prelaunch checks. At T+7, the Falcon 9 will begin an “engine chill”.

The engine chill is performed by flowing LOX (liquid oxygen) through the plumbing in order to cool the lines slowly so that you do not cold-shock the metal, which could cause cracks.

At T+16, the second stage LOX loading will begin, followed by the first stage LOX loading and RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading at T+35. Three minutes later, the Launch Director will verify go for propellant load.

SpaceX’s Starlink programme update

The construction of Starship prototype vehicles is currently underway at both the Production Facility and the launch site. Work on the High Bay has reached its full height, with sections that will host the roof now being installed.

On 28 August 2020, Elon Musk said on Twitter that we could expect the next Starship update in October:

“Neuralink this month [August] and Tesla next month [September], SpaceX probably October. We will have made a lot of progress by then. Might have a prototype booster hop done by then”. Protection Status

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