SpaceX Starlink launches for January 2023

SpaceX Starlink launches in January 2023

Starlink Group 2-6: January 31, 2023, 16:15 UTC (11:15 a.m. EST)
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, California | SUCCESS

You can watch a livestream of the launch at SpaceX’s YouTube channel using the link at the top of this page. Livestreams typically begin about five minutes before liftoff.

Available now! 2023 EarthSky lunar calendar. A unique and beautiful poster-sized calendar showing phases of the moon every night of the year! Makes a great gift.

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. You can check to see if they will pass over your area using the Find Starlink website.

If you live near the launch sites on the East or West Coast of the United States, you may also see the rocket ascending into the sky, leaving behind a billowing glow. This sight also causes people to clamor with questions. In the photo below, you can see what a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch looks like.

SpaceX Starlink: Cigar-shaped glowing rocket trailed by glowing gases over dark shoreline.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Our friend Bob Kissling took this image and wrote: “Spectacular view of the September 24, 2022, SpaceX launch rocketing up the east coast of the United States! At around 7:40 p.m., the rocket, carrying 52 Starlink satellites, passed by the beaches of Ocean City, New Jersey, just after sunset!” Thank you, Bob!

Growing numbers amid controversy

According to Wikipedia, as of December 2022, Starlink consists of over 3,300 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit that communicate with designated ground transceivers. They provide internet access to over 1,000,000 subscribers as of December 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.

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. Read more about how satellites harm astronomy and what’s being done.

Slender, dark rocket soars up on a column of flame into a deep golden sky with a bright white sun glowing to one side.
A Starlink launch on October 6, 2022. Via SpaceX/ Flickr.

Bottom line: SpaceX’s next Starlink launch for the month is currently scheduled from California at 16:15 UTC on January 31, 2023. Watch the livestream here.

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

Via Space Launch Schedule

January 31, 2023

Like what you read?
Subscribe and receive daily news delivered to your inbox.

Your email address will only be used for EarthSky content. Privacy Policy
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

More from 

Lia De La Cruz

View All