Weather looks good for SpaceX Starlink launch on Tuesday

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 53 Starlink satellites to orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on May 14, 2022.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 53 Starlink satellites to orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on May 14, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Update for 6:35 p.m. ET on Aug. 9: SpaceX has pushed the launch attempt back to 10:14 p.m. EDT on Aug. 9 (0214 GMT on Aug. 10) due to high winds. Read more about Tuesday's SpaceX Starlink launch, and learn how to watch it live, in our preview story.

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 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
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: