MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you saw some bright lights in the sky above Memphis Thursday night and were wondering if it was an alien invasion, you are not alone.
All across the country, and here in Memphis, people have been posting pictures of a string of bright lights that appear to be SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, which launched on Tuesday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket using a first stage, making its eighth flight, boosted 60 more Starlink internet relay satellites into orbit early Thursday after launching from the Kennedy Space Center. It’s the California rocket builder’s fourth Starlink deployment this year.
Originally expected to take off in late January, the rocket was repeatedly held up by undisclosed technical issues. The latest came Sunday when the countdown was aborted less than 90 seconds from liftoff.
But the rocket finally flashed to life at historic pad 39A at 3:24 a.m. EST Thursday, and the hard-luck flight got underway with a burst of flame and a crackling roar.
People downtown and in Midtown posted pictures and videos of the lights on Facebook and Nextdoor., some with some very colorful commentary. Some saying “What is is this?” while others were wondering if aliens were in Memphis.
If you missed the lights, you will have another chance. SpaceX is targeting Sunday, May 9 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The instantaneous window is at 2:42 a.m. EDT, or 6:42 UTC, and a backup opportunity is available on Monday, May 10 at 2:21 a.m. EDT, or 6:21 UTC.
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