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SpaceX launching 57 more Starlink satellites early Friday: How to watch it live

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 60 of the company's Starlink internet satellites from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 18, 2020.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches 60 of the company's Starlink internet satellites from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 18, 2020. (Image credit: SpaceX)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is expected to send 57 more of the company's Starlink satellites into space early Friday morning (Aug. 7). 

The launch is scheduled to take place at 1:12 a.m. EDT (0512 GMT) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. SpaceX will also attempt to land the Falcon 9's first stage on a ship at sea shortly after liftoff. You can watch all the action live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via the company. The broadcast should go live 15 minutes or so before launch. 

Friday's launch will be SpaceX's eighth Starlink liftoff this year, and the 10th such mission overall (11 if you count the launch of two Starlink prototypes in February 2018). Starlink is a broadband constellation that SpaceX is undertaking to bring satellite internet access to the masses around the globe, particularly in underserviced regions. 

Related: SpaceX's Starlink satellite megaconstellation launches in photos

SpaceX has already lofted more than 500 Starlink satellites to date, but the constellation could feature at least 12,000 craft by the time it's finished. Starlink has come under criticism from astronomers and dark-sky advocates due to the satellites' brightness, especially shortly after launch. SpaceX is taking measures to reduce the glare.

The reusable Falcon 9 rocket used in Friday's launch will be undertaking its fifth spaceflight. Before, this Falcon 9's first stage flew the Demo-1 mission in 2019 (which sent an uncrewed Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station), a trio of Earth-observing satellites for Canada, and two other Starlink missions earlier in 2020. 

Besides the Starlink satellites, the mission will send two BlackSky satellites into orbit under a rideshare agreement with Spaceflight Inc.

The launch has been repeatedly delayed since late June due to weather and technical issues.

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for Space.com who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.