It doesn’t look like Mother Nature will interfere with SpaceX’s next Starlink launch.
The latest forecast from the U.S. Space Force predicts just a 30% chance of bad weather for the SpaceX launch of 53 Starlink satellites, which is scheduled to occur at 6:57 p.m. EDT (2257 GMT) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in coastal Florida, east of Orlando.
While the Space Force forecast (opens in new tab) points to “early-morning showers along the coast and afternoon storms over the interior,” it stresses that things “continue to look favorable for launch.”
The forecasters are, however, watching out for “light and veering upper-level flow” from winds that may “bring anvil clouds to the area,” including possible showers.
Should the launch be delayed by 24 hours, the forecast notes that the probability is even better for a Wednesday (Aug. 10) launch, with only a 10% chance of weather causing an issue. “The primary concern during the backup window remains the cumulus cloud rule,” the forecast states.
Starlink is SpaceX’s ever-growing constellation of broadband satellites, which now has more than 2,200 active craft in space.
SpaceX has launched the satellites from both U.S. coasts. Shortly before liftoff, the company generally stations a “drone ship” not far away from the launch site to serve as a landing platform for the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage.
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Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth’s on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada’s Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.