SpaceX is getting ready a Falcon 9 rocket for what will likely be its sixtieth orbital launch of the yr. The Starlink Group 6-13 mission is focusing on a liftoff no sooner than 7:52 p.m. EDT (2352 UTC) on Thursday, Aug. 31, with a batch of twenty-two Starlink V2 Mini satellites headed to low Earth orbit.
With this launch and one other about to fly from California, SpaceX is on the cusp of breaking the document it set in 2022 of 61 missions.
In accordance with analytics agency BryceTech, SpaceX continues to dominate the launch market. Within the first two quarters of the yr, SpaceX notched 43 orbital launches. That’s simply ten shy of the 53 launches from each different launch supplier world wide over the identical timeframe.
Put one other approach, SpaceX launched 447,209 kg of spacecraft upmass between the primary two quarters. The following closest launcher was the China Aerospace Science and Know-how Company (CASC), which launched 47,034 kg in the identical interval.
SpaceX was poised to tie its 2022 launch document with a mission from Vandenberg House Drive Base that was scheduled for liftoff Thursday morning. Nevertheless, an engine situation with one of many Falcon 9’s Merlin engines performed spoiler to what would’ve been a double launch day for SpaceX.
The corporate is at present focusing on no sooner than Friday, Sept. 1, at 7:26 a.m. PDT (10:26 a.m. EDT, 1426 UTC) to launch that mission on behalf of the U.S. House Growth Company. Thus far, they haven’t offered an replace on the standing of the engine situation. One other Starlink mission is scheduled for the Cape as quickly as Sunday.
Climate might additionally stymie the Thursday night time Starlink launch from Florida. The forty fifth Climate Squadron at Cape Canaveral House Drive Station forecast that there was solely a 20 p.c likelihood of favorable climate on the opening of the launch window.
These odds enhance to 60 p.c go whether or not by the tip of the window, which closes at 11:29 p.m. EDT (0329 UTC on Sept. 1). There are 5 backup alternatives inside that window and one other six the next day.
The booster supporting the Starlink 6-13 mission, tail quantity B1077, beforehand flew six missions, together with the Crew-5 mission. It would land within the Atlantic Ocean on SpaceX’s drone ship, ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’.
SpaceX’s different Florida-based drone ship, ‘Simply Learn the Directions’, pulled into Port Canaveral earlier within the day after sheltering within the Bahamas as Hurricane Idalia pushed via Florida and up the East Coast.