Launches: SpaceX Starlink launches for October

SpaceX Starlink launches for October

Starlink Group 4-29: Wednesday • October 5, 2022 • 23:10 UTC (4:10 p.m. PT)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFC, California | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 4-36: Thursday • October 20, 2022 • 14:50 UTC (10:50 a.m. ET)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, Florida | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 4-31: Friday • October 28, 2022 • 01:14 UTC (6:14 p.m. PT October 27)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, California | SUCCESS

Go directly to SpaceX’s YouTube channel for a livestream of the launch. Livestreams typically begin about five minutes before liftoff.

After launch, look for a train of lights

Following every Starlink launch, the internet buzzes with people asking:

What’s that long line of lights in the sky that looks like a train?

What you’re seeing is the Starlink satellites moving into a higher orbit. Incidentally, you can check to see if they will pass over your area using the Find Starlink website.

Starlink: Night sky with dashed line of lights horizontally at top.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Our friend Amanda Michel in Mandeville, Louisiana, took this image on September 7, 2022, and wrote: “I saw a trail of what looked like stars moving across the sky while running in the morning. It took about one minute for them to travel to a point where I couldn’t see them anymore.” Those lights are Starlink satellites. You can see them in the evenings after a launch until they get higher in the sky and become too dim to see without optical aid. There are often so many sightings of “strange lights” after Starlink launches that local news stations file reports, as Louisiana’s KATC did after the Wednesday morning light show. Learn more about Starlink trails here.

Growing numbers amid controversy

As of September 2022, Starlink supposedly consists of over 3,000 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit. They communicate with designated ground transceivers and provide internet access to over 500,000 subscribers as of June 2022.

Love ’em or hate ’em, these Starlink satellites are part of SpaceX’s vision for a global internet communication satellite constellation. They deliver high-speed internet service worldwide, mainly to locations where ground-based internet is unreliable, unavailable, or expensive. The private company is well-known for launching batches back-to-back, several times a month, regularly lofting 60 satellites at a time. And SpaceX plans to build up to perhaps as many as 30,000 eventually.

Understandably, most thought it was exciting to see the first few Starlink satellites traveling together in the night sky. But then more were launched, and then more. And astronomers began to worry.

Because Starlinks are bright, astronomers say they’re photobombing astronomical images. Therefore, they have the potential to interfere with the professional astronomical observations that have brought us our modern-day view of the cosmos. And although SpaceX has tried to address the issue, they remain far from what astronomers say is acceptable.

Bottom line: SpaceX’s most recent Starlink launch took flight from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in Florida at 01:14 UTC on October 28, 2022.

Read more from EarthSky: Starlink satellites can look like a plume or train of light

Via Space Launch Schedule

October 27, 2022

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