SpaceX Will Launch Falcon 9 Rocket Today From Kennedy Space Center

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: May 08, 2024

Elon Musk’s space exploration and rocket manufacturing company is set to launch several Starlink satellites into the atmosphere today.

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket will depart from the Kennedy Space Center today in Florida.

What Is the Purpose of Starlink Satellites?

Starlink is a specific type of satellite constellation system that works to deliver broadband internet coverage all over the globe.

A large white rocket blasts off with a trail of white lite and grey smoke in front of a large lake

Source: @olivia_p_walker/X

The system helps add internet coverage to rural and geographically isolated places that traditionally lack the infrastructure to add high-speed internet through cables. 

SpaceX Teams Up With Starlink

The initiative teamed up  SpaceX with Starlink; it uses the rocket technology that Musk and his team created to send the satellites into orbit.

Elon musk wears a black shirt and a black jacket and holds his hands up in front of a Starlink logo

Source: @DimaZeniuk/X

The technology uses Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to allow internet access in remote locations.

Musk’s Control Over Satellite Internet Could Be Alarming

In a recent Washington Post article, a reporter covered Musk’s control over global internet access and his involvement in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

A white van and a white truck are parked next to a small satellite dish in front of a large mountain range and a green field

Source: @achalasetelital/X

Although military organizations own some of the 9,000 Starlink satellites in the sky, Musk owns most of them, roughly 4,500. Using a military maneuver called “geofencing,” Musk restricted using his satellites over active war zones to benefit one side.

The Pentagon Purchased Access to Starlink Satellites

For a while, Musk allowed the United States and Ukrainian governments to use his Starlink satellite devices for free to advance their military operations.

An aerial view of a large 5-sided building surrounded by large roads and parking lots

Source: @MilaLovesJoe/X

However, the wealthiest man on Earth changed his mind and will now sell the Pentagon access to the satellite information.

Time of Liftoff

The rocket will launch on Wednesday at 1:34 p.m. to deploy 23 new Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit.

Two large rockets launch in unison leaving a trail of white fire behind them

Source: SpaceX/Unsplash

Weather reports from this morning have already shown that the airspace above the KSC is clear and ready for a rocket launch.


Successful Launches in the Past

SpaceX has launched dozens of Starlinks on rockets from the Brevard coast in the past week.

A night sky with a large red line and a blue burst of light over a city

Source: SpaceX/Unsplash

On May 6th and May 2nd, the space exploration company had successful missions to deploy their satellites.


How to Spot the Starlink Train in the Sky

The satellites are deposited in the atmosphere and delivered in train formation. One satellite sits after the other, making them reasonably easy to see on a clear night sky.

A rocket launching into space with several white lights over exposed in the sky

Source: Bill Jelen/Unsplash

If you look up to the area where they are first deposited, you will see the “Starlink satellite train,” a nickname for depositing the satellites in the mid-atmosphere.


Downsides of Adding New Satellites to the Atmosphere

Although Musk and his expansive team appear to be adding much-needed internet access to rural areas, the added satellites have a downside.

A large satellite dish and tower illuminated in red next to a bright night sky

Source: Atik Sulianami/Unsplash

Closing in on ten thousand satellites in the sky obstructs much-needed scientific space exploration.


Hubble Telescope Unable To Do Its Job

Due to the mass influx of satellites in the night sky, the scientific team that uses the Hubble Telescope has announced that Starlinks have severely impeded their ability to do their job.

A large silver telescope hovers in the atmosphere above Earth

Source: @Facts_here_/X

New scientific advances are made constantly, many with the help of astronomers. However, the added traffic to the sky has created massive traffic jams. Images taken by the Hubble Telescope will have to note the location and size of every Starlink satellite they come across when they post photos of their astronomical findings.


Predictions for the Number of Satellites in the Future

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) estimated that by 2030, there will be around 75,000 low-orbit satellites around Earth.

A large white telescope opened and pointed directly below the moon

Source: @MichealGalanin/X

This massive amount of traffic in the sky will further impede scientific exploration.


Starlink Satellites Will Be Dimmed After First Launch

The massive constellation of satellites can look otherworldly upon first look and often prompt phone calls to emergency services worldwide about UFO sightings.

A small slim rocket launches over a sea of green trees

Source: Tim Mossholder/Unsplash

To dispel any concerns from private citizens, Musk and his team plan to use further technology to dim the satellites and make them less noticeable from Earth.