SpaceX has launched Starlink v10 L18 flight or 19 SLC-40’s Starlink mission at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Thursday, Jan. February, at 1:19 am EST (6:19 am UTC)

A second Starlink mission from the nearby LC-39A is slated to follow just under 28 hours later, keeping SpaceX on course to make the scheduled 48 launches this year while the Eastern Range and 45 The United States Space Force’s Space Wing remains on target to achieve its own goal of assisting at least 48 launches per year – or one per week – from Florida

With a punctual start, the Starlink v10 will be The L18 flight (“L18”) was the first Starlink mission to be launched out of numerical order, as the launch was only more than a day before the scheduled Starlink v10 L17 (“L17”) flight

This type of out-of-sequence launch – though incredibly common in the space shuttle program – was one of the first publicly available instances of U in more than a decadeS. Missions of flights that are out of numerical order due to delays

Specifically, this Starlink L18 event was caused by the ongoing issues with the L17 mission both before and after the static fire. The L17 mission was originally scheduled for Jan. January planned and is now aiming for Friday 5th February

After the SLC-40 lifted off, Falcon 9 leaned and rolled on the correct course to reach a 53 degree orbit

After the stage separation, the first stage booster B1060-5 landed on the “Of course I Still Love You” drone ship located approximately 630 km northeast of the Atlantic launch site off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina

Just 27 days after its last mission, Booster B1060-5 set the new fleet leader and world record for the fastest turnaround time of the same rocket between missions, the previous record was 38 days, held by Falcon 9 Booster B1051

Likewise, the two halves of the payload fairing were parachuted to the Atlantic about 730 km northeast of the launch site so that the ships GO Ms Baum and GO Frau Chef can retrieve them. Half of the fairing was previously used for the GPS III SV-03 mission, while the other half was previously used for the SAOCOM 1B flight

If the L17 flight lasts until Friday morning, the two Starlink missions would start 27 hours and 55 minutes apart, breaking the current post-range upgrade record of just under 35 hours in August 2019

In the 1960s, an even faster cadence from start to start was common – even with human twin flights, some of which started from an adjacent pad just 90 minutes after the unscrewed target vehicle had lifted off

The rapid cadence ability was largely due to the Eastern Test Range being used as a defense station against potential enemy attacks against the United States during the Cold War – a scenario that would have required a quick volley of launches

The rapid rise of the commercial missile sector and the proliferation of new companies and launch vehicles prompted the 45th Space wings, however, anticipate the need to reintroduce this rapid launch support capability in the mid-2010s

Brady Kenniston captures in a self-portrait the mission of Crew-1, which will take off from the LC-39A in November 2020 Space Wing is slated to support up to five crew missions by 2021 (photo credit: Brady Kenniston for NSF)

The new suite of upgrades and enhancements is designed to accommodate anticipated launch demand from SpaceX and emerging retailers, as well as the use of the range by the United Launch Alliance

This initiative included a multi-year process of upgrading equipment and facilities and increasing staffing levels to appropriate levels to ensure different teams are ready to take control between launches

Likewise, the plan in mid-2010 stipulated that the range between two completely different missiles could be reconfigured (i.e. Hey, a Falcon 9 and an Atlas V) in 36 hours, while 16 hours would be required between two Falcon 9 launching from different pads

The Range and The 45th have since achieved and exceeded the set goals and achieved a launch of Falcon 9 and Atlas V with a separation of just under 35 hours in August 2019

At this milestone, Col Mark Shoemaker, the then commander of the 45 Operations Group said, “One a week is the average we are aiming for, obviously we could have situations where we do two in 35 hours and then maybe the next week we don’t have a ”

Since then, the Range has supported similar planned and approved turnarounds between Atlas Vs and Falcon 9s from 34 to 36 hours – even though the missions involved then slipped or scrubbed, making the double launch scenarios no longer a reality

In some cases, however, the consecutive launches approved by the Range have shown profound improvements to cut turnaround times even further since 2019

In August 2020, the Range approved a processing time of less than 24 hours between a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy and a SpaceX Falcon 9, and two Falcon 9 missions – at a time in 2020 – were scheduled within 16 hours

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This week, the Range approved a 4-hour 17-minute separation between the Starlink L18 and L17 missions, although confusingly, it did not happen until after SpaceX requested the L17 flight on Friday the 5th February, to postpone

Two starts this week would mark the 45th Keep space wings on track to support up to 48 missions this year, including SpaceX’s 40+ missions and the United Launch Alliance’s multitude of flights, including the potential year-end launch of their new Vulcanic rocket, as well as eight Atlas V manifested flights

Two of these Atlas V flights include Starliner’s unscrewed orbital flight test 2 (OFT-2) as well as a three-person crewed flight test (CFT) scheduled sometime later this year

According to the latest schedules, it is still possible that the Terran-1 rocket from Relativity Space and the New Glenn from Blue Origin could also launch from the Cape this year

Whether or not SLS can also join will largely be decided after the second hot fire test at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi has been completed. This repeat test currently has no confirmed test date, with NASA listing “the week of February 21” as the earliest possible time

“While we await a historic journey in space, I hope this mission reinforces how far inspiration can take us and what extraordinary accomplishments it takes us here on Earth” – Jared Isaacman, Inspiration4 Commander ImageTwittercom / y41tsFJzNu

As with the goal of the 45th Space wing to support 48 missions per year from Florida, the launch of both Starlink flights this week would also keep SpaceX on track for a record 48 of its own launches in 2021 – although not all of them will be flown from Florida / p>

In particular, NASA’s DART mission (Double Asteroid Redirect Test) is scheduled to take place on April 22 at the earliest Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California on July 7, 2021

However, the vast majority of the SpaceX 2021 manifesto is from Florida One such flight was officially added on Monday in the form of the Inspiration4 mission, which will be the first fully private human space flight in history

SpaceX has also completed two crew rotation missions to the International Space Station for NASA in Crew-2 and Crew-3, as well as Axiom’s first private mission to the station

Crew-2 and Crew-3 are currently targeting the 20th April or “September / October” while Inspiration4 is set to October at the earliest, followed by Axiom Space-1 in December

To make the planned number of launches this year, SpaceX needs to achieve an average launch rate of one per week That would bring about a double-header Starhea event this week by bringing the company’s manifesto, completed for the year, to five flights in just five weeks


World news – CA – SpaceX launches the first of two Starlink missions, the busy year of the 45th Space Wing Continues – NASASpaceFlightcom