Live updates from Starlink Falcon 9 launch at KSC

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Gear up for an afternoon SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch today from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Welcome to FLORIDA TODAY’s Space Team live coverage of the 2:42 p.m. EDT SpaceX Starlink 6-56 mission from pad 39A. The original launch target was 11 a.m. — but the company has announced a trio of delays, pushing liftoff to the end of today’s window.

The Falcon 9 will deploy a batch of Starlink internet satellites, which are packed inside the fairing atop the 230-foot rocket.

Expect 90% odds of favorable weather, per the Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron, with a slight concern of sea breeze-fueled cumulus clouds and a moderate risk of detrimental solar activity.

No Central Florida sonic booms are expected with this mission. After ascending skyward along a southeasterly trajectory, the rocket’s first-stage booster will target landing aboard a SpaceX drone ship out at sea nearly 8½ minutes after liftoff.

When SpaceX’s live webcast hosted on X (formerly Twitter) becomes available about five minutes before liftoff, it will be posted below the countdown clock.  

Cape Canaveral: Is there a launch today? Upcoming SpaceX, NASA, ULA rocket launch schedule in Florida

Update 1:30 p.m.: The mercury has reached 90 degrees — with a balmy heat index of 96 — at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, the National Weather Service reported.

The temperature has exceeded the NWS afternoon forecast high by four degrees. Other meteorological observations: partly cloudy skies; a 9 mph south wind; and 10-mile visibility.

Brevard County announced a burn ban at 12:18 p.m., prohibiting bonfires, campfires and open burning amid ongoing dry weather conditions that boost wildfire risks.

Update 1 p.m.: SpaceX’s last launch from Florida’s Space Coast occurred less than 48 hours ago.

That’s when the Starlink 6-57 mission lifted off at 2:14 p.m. Monday from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Like today’s Falcon 9 is programmed to do, that rocket propelled 23 broadband satellites into low-Earth orbit on a southeasterly trajectory.

Update 12:30 p.m.: Tonight, SpaceX crews are scheduled to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

That 10:48 p.m. EDT mission will lift 20 Starlink satellites — including 13 with direct-to-cell communication capabilities — into low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4 East.

Update 11:56 a.m.: SpaceX has announced a third delay, pushing today’s liftoff attempt back to the tail end of the 2:42 p.m. launch window.

If needed, more launch opportunities are available Thursday starting at 10:16 a.m.

Update 11:45 a.m.: The National Weather Service forecasts sunny skies, a high near 86, and southeast wind of 10 to 15 mph this afternoon at adjacent Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Gusts may reach as high as 20 mph.

Today through Friday will bring the warmest weather much of East-Central Florida has experienced this year — with record high temperatures in the forecast, a NWS tweet said.

Update 11:18 a.m.: Another delay: SpaceX is now targeting 2:10 p.m. for today’s launch.

Update 11 a.m.: Despite today’s delayed liftoff target, Brevard County Emergency Management officials have activated the agency’s launch operations support team ahead of SpaceX’s upcoming Falcon 9 launch.

Update 10:35 a.m.: Today’s SpaceX Starlink mission at KSC’s pad 39A will lift off within easy eyeshot of nearby Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

That’s where a United Launch Alliance Atlas V will launch NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore to the International Space Station during the inaugural crewed mission of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft.

After a Monday scrub, that historic Starliner launch will now occur no earlier than 6:16 p.m. May 17.

Update 10:05 a.m.: We’ve got a 2½-hour launch delay. SpaceX just announced the new target liftoff time is 1:34 p.m.

The company has not publicly cited a reason for the delay.

Update 9:50 a.m.: Following is a list of SpaceX’s upcoming countdown key events. T-minus:

  • 38 minutes: SpaceX launch director verifies “go” for propellant load.
  • 35 minutes: Rocket-grade kerosene and first-stage liquid oxygen loading begins.
  • 16 minutes: Second-stage liquid oxygen loading begins.
  • 7 minutes: Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch.
  • 1 minute: Command flight computer begins final prelaunch checks; propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins.
  • 45 seconds: SpaceX launch director verifies “go” for launch.
  • 3 seconds: Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start.
  • 0 seconds: Liftoff.

Update 9:29 a.m.: Additional details from the 45th Weather Squadron’s SpaceX Starlink 6-56 forecast:

“The high-pressure ridge axis is now positioned across central Florida and will remain in place for the next few days,” the forecast said.

“Moisture extent is limited to the very lowest levels of the atmosphere, so there will be only a slight chance of Cumulus Cloud Rule violation at sea breeze onset during the midday hours,” the forecast said.

For the latest news from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, visit

Rick Neale is a Space Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Neale at [email protected]. Twitter/X: @RickNeale1

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