May 19, 2023

SpaceX plans to launch Falcon 9 from both the East and West coasts hours apart

Posted by in categories: internet, satellites

SpaceX plans to launch two Falcon 9 rockets hours apart from Florida and California. Starlink group 6–3 will launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with a planned launch time of 12:41 AM ET (04:41 UTC) and from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Iridium OneWeb rideshare launch at 6:19 AM PT (13:19 UTC).

First up, SpaceX will launch booster 1,076 on its 5th flight to deliver 22 Starlink V2 mini-satellites to a 43 degree orbit inclination. The 22 Starlink V2 mini-satellites come in at a combined ~17.6 metric tons, potentially setting the record for the most mass to low Earth orbit for a Falcon 9. This shows a gradual increase in the confidence of the Falcon 9 to deliver high-mass payloads to orbit while maintaining the ability to recover the first stage. On station for this recovery is the droneship “A Shortfall of Gravitas,” stationed roughly 636 km downrange, just East of the Bahamas.

The current weather outlook for this launch has a 60% chance of violating launch criteria at the opening of the launch window. However, this launch has three more opportunities, 1:13 AM ET (05:31 UTC), 2:19 AM ET (06:19 UTC), and 3:09 AM ET (07:09 UTC) in which the weather improves to a 40% chance of violating launch criteria.

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