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Watch SpaceX launch 46 Starlink satellites from California on Thursday

Update: SpaceX aborted today's launch attempt after mission personnel called a hold at T-46 seconds before launch. The company will target Friday (July 22) at 1:39 p.m. EDT (1739 GMT) for a new launch attempt, according to a SpaceX tweet (opens in new tab).

SpaceX will launch 46 Starlink satellites to orbit on Thursday (July 21), and you can watch it attempt to beat a launch record live.

A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket topped with the bevy of internet satellites is scheduled to lift off at 1:39 p.m. EDT (10:39 a.m. local time or 1739 GMT) from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. If SpaceX succeeds, the company will surpass its 31 record launches of 2021 with a 32nd launch in 2022, and still counting.

You can watch the entire launch sequence — including an attempt to land the Falcon 9's first stage atop the SpaceX "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship in the Pacific Ocean — here at Space.com or directly via SpaceX's YouTube (opens in new tab) channel.

Related: Falcon 9: SpaceX's workhorse rocket

Coverage generally starts about 15 to 20 minutes before launch, and all launch times are subject to change due to weather or technical issues.

The company's last successful Starlink launch from Vandenberg took place on July 11, during which 46 Starlink satellites went to space and the rocket first stage landed on the droneship 8.5 minutes after launch. 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the rising sun to carry 53 Starlink internet satellites to orbit from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida on May 18, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX)

More frequently, the broadband satellites are sent to space from Cape Canaveral Space Force Base in Florida. In fact, SpaceX did squeeze in an east-coast Starlink launch days ago on Sunday (July 17).

Starlink is SpaceX's satellite-internet service and includes more than 2,800 Starlink satellites (opens in new tab) to date. Starlink Group 3-2 is set to be SpaceX's fourth Starlink launch in July alone.

In the longer term, the company has regulatory approval to put 12,000 Starlink craft in orbit, and has applied to an international regulator to send another 30,000 satellites after that.

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell

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.