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Jason DavisJune 24, 2019

LightSail 2 is Ready for Launch

Greetings from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, where The Planetary Society is onsite for tonight’s launch of LightSail 2! This afternoon we got an up-close look at the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket that will carry 24 spacecraft to orbit as part of the U.S. Air Force’s STP-2 mission. Liftoff is set for 23:30 EDT (03:30 UTC), the start of a 4-hour launch window. If for some reason the launch is scrubbed, an identical window is available tomorrow.

The rocket’s two side boosters still bear their scorch marks from April’s Arabsat-6A mission, during which both boosters successfully flew back to Cape Canaveral for upright landings. The center core is pearly white, having never flown.

You can watch tonight’s launch live on our homepage at planetary.org. SpaceX typically starts their web broadcast about 20 minutes prior to liftoff. For more information, see our LightSail 2 mission page and our What to Expect When LightSail 2 Launches into Space article.

Go Falcon Heavy! Go Prox-1! Go LightSail 2! 

STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, hangar view

The Planetary Society

STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, hangar view
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying LightSail 2 and 23 other spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission, stands ready for launch on 24 June 2019.
STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, front view

The Planetary Society

STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, front view
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying LightSail 2 and 23 other spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission, stands ready for launch on 24 June 2019.
Team LightSail 2 visits the Falcon Heavy

The Planetary Society

Team LightSail 2 visits the Falcon Heavy
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying LightSail 2 and 23 other spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission, stands ready for launch on 24 June 2019.
STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, from SpaceX hangar

The Planetary Society

STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, from SpaceX hangar
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying LightSail 2 and 23 other spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission, stands ready for launch on 24 June 2019.
STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, payload closeup

The Planetary Society

STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, payload closeup
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying LightSail 2 and 23 other spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission, stands ready for launch on 24 June 2019.
STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, side view

The Planetary Society

STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, side view
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying LightSail 2 and 23 other spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission, stands ready for launch on 24 June 2019.
STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, from the KSC "gator hole"

The Planetary Society

STP-2 with LightSail 2 on the pad, from the KSC "gator hole"
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying LightSail 2 and 23 other spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission, stands ready for launch on 24 June 2019.
STP-2 with LightSail 2 from inside the perimeter fence

The Planetary Society

STP-2 with LightSail 2 from inside the perimeter fence
SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying LightSail 2 and 23 other spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force's STP-2 mission, stands ready for launch on 24 June 2019.

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Jason Davis

Digital Editor for The Planetary Society
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