SpaceX is getting ready for a third try at launching its tenth Starlink mission, after two prior attempts were scrubbed, first in June and then again in July. Meanwhile, SpaceX has accomplished a lot -- including another launch of a GPS satellite, and returning astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to Earth from the International Space Station aboard the Crew Dragon.
This Starlink mission attempt is scheduled for Friday, August 7 at 1:12 AM EDT (10:12 PM PDT on August 6) and will take off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. There's also a backup opportunity scheduled for Saturday, August 8 at 12:50 AM EDT (Augut 7 at 9:50 PM PDT).
The payload for this mission includes, predictably, Starlink satellites -- 57 in total that will join the constellation already in low Earth orbit as SpaceX gets ready to begin its beta test, which it says will kick off this summer. Starlink aims to provide low-latency, high-speed broadband to customers who don't currently have great access to that kind of connectivity, with a beta set to start in parts of the U.S. and Canada this year. The Starlink satellites on this flight are all equipped with a special extendable solar visor to prevent reflections from their radio surfaces from obscuring the night sky from Earth.
This mission also carries two BlackSky satellites, which is one of SpaceX's customers through launch services provider Spaceflight. It's the second time that SpaceX has carried another payload alongside its own Starlink satellites on one of these flights, showing its spacefaring rideshare business model in action.
The live feed for the launch will start around 15 minutes prior to launch time, so at roughly 12:57 AM EDT (9:57 PM PDT).