Home News SpaceX’s busiest month of launches ever is just around the corner

SpaceX’s busiest month of launches ever is just around the corner


With the launch of the calendar year, SpaceX has only entered what could become the couple of weeks of Falcon 9 starts in the business history, breaking previous records for the most launches it’s performed in a month.

As of now, SpaceX has scheduled to perform the first orbital and suborbital launches of 2020 – a sign of things. To start is Starlink-2, SpaceX’s third 60-satellite launch and second launch of upgraded Starlink v1.0 spacecraft, scheduled to launch no earlier than January 6th following a recent three-day delay.

Perhaps less than five times following that orbital launch attempt, SpaceX and NASA have scheduled Crew Dragon’s In-Flight Abort (IFA) test approximately 8 am ET (13:00 UTC), January 11th – set to be the spacecraft’s instant launch on Falcon 9. Even then, that’s the first half SpaceX’s projected January 2020 launch illustrate, if schedules don ’ t slide, potentially paving the way to get a new internal record.

Welcome to the new year! This ’s rsquo & list of some planned launches for this month – there;s quite a few to look forward to! 😃Credit into the always-great @nextspaceflight program as well as also the @NASASpaceflight forums for providing this information! 🚀🛰 pic.twitter.com/yJrL2m5FTG

— Tyler Gray (@TylerG1998) January 1, 2020

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In the twenty five and a half years Falcon 9 has already been usable, SpaceX has dropped a bit less than 1.5 launches a month. On the other hand, the provider only truly came into its own as a launch supplier in 2017 and has recently launched an astonishing 52 Circuit launches, meaning that almost 69% of the Falcon family’s launches have been completed in under 36 months – a span representing only 30% of its usable life.

In the previous three exceptionally busy decades, averaging more than 17 launches annually, SpaceX has had only three instances where it launched three Falcon 9s at exactly the month – June 2017, October 2017, and December 2018.

SpaceX's three surviving thrice-flown Block 5 boosters - B1048, B1049, and B1046 - are pictured here in various stages of recovery. (Teslarati, Pauline Acalin)Pictured at the center, Falcon 9 booster B1049 is scheduled to launch Starlink-2 as its fourth orbital-class mission in 16 months. (Teslarati – Pauline Acalin)

On top of Starlink-2 and Crew Dragon’s IFA test, SpaceX has two extra 60-satellite Starlink v1.0 starts scheduled this month – Starlink-3 at mid-January and Starlink-4 near the end of the month. Especially in light of Starlink-2’s delays from December 30th to January 3rd and eventually January 6th, it is going to be a challenge for both Starlink-4 to remain in January, but there is certainly a opportunity.

While Crew Dragon’so called In-Flight Abort test is suborbital, SpaceX would still set a record for the amount of all Falcon (9) starts performed in one month when it can launch all four above assignments in January 2020. In actuality, since Starlink-2 is now scheduled to launch no earlier than January 6th, SpaceX will actually should launch a rocket every ~6 weeks to complete its own tentative manifest – a remarkable feat that will translate to more than 60 launches annually if protracted during 2020.

An overview of LC-40 during SpaceX’s December 2018 CRS-16 Falcon 9 launch. (SpaceX)

An aerial summary of SpaceX’s KSC LC-39A pad at February 2019. (USAF – Hope Geiger)

Although almost impossible if SpaceX is just able to rely on its Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) LC-40 pad for business launches, such a cadence could actually be well within reach if SpaceX can supplement LC-40 using a monthly or bimonthly launch out of its Kennedy Space Center LC-39A mat. Primarily meant to encourage Crew Dragon, Cargo Dragon two, along with Falcon Heavy starts, Pad 39A may and did host several Falcon 9 satellite launches in 2017, and a few the latest FCC filings imply that SpaceX is considering additional commercial launches .

In fact, including Crew Dragon’so called IFA plus a Falcon Heavy launch for its USAF scheduled in late-2020, Pad 39A is currently scheduled to encourage as many as five launches for NASA and the Air Force. If, state, SpaceX schedules and other five commercial Falcon 9 assignments from Pad 39A LC-40 can eliminate a single Falcon 9 launch already within reach.

SpaceX now has plans to launch as much as orbital assignments in 2020, a number that perfectly contrasts with the potential for a assignments starting from Pad 39A. Simply speaking, SpaceX is to kick 2020 with its busiest month of rocket launches – a sign of the firm ’s ambitious plans for the rest of the year.

Check out Teslarati’s mails  for immediate upgrades, on-the-ground perspectives, and unique glimpses of SpaceX’s rocket launch and recovery processes.

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