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SpaceX gearing up for nighttime launch of OneWeb satellite mission from Florida

SpaceX is planning to send up a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Space Coast this weekend in a spectacular nighttime launch for OneWeb.

The rocket will carry 40 satellites for the OneWeb Launch 16 Mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Sunday, Jan. 8. Liftoff is scheduled for 11:55 pm ET.

This is SpaceX’s second launch for OneWeb. So far, weather is looking good for liftoff.

OneWeb is putting hundreds of satellites in low earth orbit for low latency broadband communications.

Following stage separation, the first stage will land on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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If the launch doesn’t happen, there is a backup opportunity available on Monday, Jan. 9 at 11:50 p.m. ET.

This will be the second launch of the new year for SpaceX. Earlier this week, the space company kicked off its launch schedule of 2023 with a transporter-6 mission, which will allow smaller satellites — some as small as a mailbox — to be sent into orbit at a lower-cost option for private companies and public institutions.

SpaceX completed 61 launches in 2022, which it says nearly doubled a record of 31 launches set in 2021.

“On average, SpaceX launched every 6 days from one of our three sites with 92% of missions completed with flight-proven first stage rocket boosters, and Falcon 9 now holds the world record for most launches of a single vehicle type in a single year ,” the company tweeted on Friday following its last launch of the year.

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