The launch is scheduled for 9:19pm ET from Cape Canaveral in Florida and will take the total number of Starlink satellites to 180.
This will be SpaceX's first launch of the year, and it will arrive so early in January that it should give you an idea of the aggressive pace the company plans for the rest of 2020. The company landed the first-stage booster (the vehicle's fourth flight and landing) on its Atlantic Ocean drone ship, but failed in its attempt to catch a payload fairing half (which costs roughly $3 million).
The satellite deployment, which was filmed live by a camera onboard the rocket, brings the total number of satellites that are part of the U.S. company's Starlink network to just under 180.
SpaceX plans to operate its initial batch of 1,584 satellites 341 miles (549 kilometers) above the Earth, hovering much lower than traditional communications satellites that operate out of geostationary orbit.
SpaceX wrote in a statement: "Starlink will provide fast, reliable internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable". Professional astronomers have complained about Starlink streaks interfering with observations, for example, and some dark-sky advocates note that the megaconstellation will alter everyone's view of the heavens.
SpaceX successfully launched its third batch of 60 Starlink satellites - the second designated "production" hardware, after launching an initial group of 60 early in 2019 to test the technology.
The combination of firsts and technical feats would lead anyone to believe that Monday night's launch is exceptional.
Weather conditions are favorable for launch tonight during the planned 20-minute window, which opens at 9:19 p.m. EST (0219 GMT Tuesday). A special coating on the bottom of Starlink satellites could reduce the glare, but how it will affect the performance is now unknown.
SpaceX said it provides tracking data so astronomers can better prepare for fly-overs.
The constellation is potentially lucrative, seeing SpaceX surge above OneWeb and other companies looking to construct a low-latency Internet for earth from space.
Starlink commercial internet services could debut in parts of the United States and Canada after approximately six more launches and global coverage beginning after 24 launches. For instance, Patricia Cooper, SpaceX's vice president of satellite government affairs, is presenting a paper during the special AAS session on Wednesday.