Watch SpaceX's 2nd Starlink Satellite Launch in a Week From Vandenberg Space Force Base

SpaceX is due to launch Friday its second load of Starlink satellites in a week.

The rocket company, owned by U.S. billionaire Elon Musk, is aiming to launch 50 of the internet-beaming satellites into low Earth orbit at 12:12 p.m. ET on February 25th. If conditions are not right, then the backup launch date will be February 26th at 11:50 a.m. ET. The launch will take place at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The satellites will be launched into space by the company's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket, which is known for its reusability. The rocket booster that will be used in Friday's mission has already been used three times before and is the same one that launched NASA's DART asteroid defense mission in 2021.

As usual, the rocket booster stage is expected to land itself back on Earth around eight minutes after launch. It will touch down on SpaceX's autonomous droneship, called Of Course I Still Love You, which will be stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, the Starlink satellites will continue to be accelerated to their desired orbit by the rocket's second stage and are expected to be deployed around one hour after launch.

SpaceX will host a livestream of the launch on its official YouTube account, starting about 15 minutes prior to liftoff. The company also often broadcasts its launches via its official Twitter account.

Starlink is SpaceX's satellite internet service, which makes use of a vast network of satellites orbiting the Earth that provide paying customers with an internet connection.

The company currently has more than 2,000 of the satellites in orbit thanks to frequent launches of dozens each time. This is just a fraction of the amount that SpaceX would like to launch in total—the company has long-term plans for 42,000.

SpaceX's last Starlink launch took place just days ago on Monday this week, when 46 of them were delivered to orbit from Florida.

It is possible that the company was eager to deliver another batch of the satellites as soon as it could; up to 40 of them were reported to have fallen out of orbit earlier this month after the Earth experienced a geomagnetic storm due to energy from the sun.

This storm had the effect of heating up the atmosphere and increasing the resistance that the satellites faced as they sped around the Earth. SpaceX put the satellites into a "safe mode" to help them brave the storm, but ultimately dozens fell back into Earth's atmosphere and burned up.

Falcon 9 launch
A Falcon 9 rocket launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in May, 2020. SpaceX often uses the rockets to launch Starlink satellites. SpaceX/Getty