SpaceX aims to launch back-to-back Falcon 9 missions over the weekend. It plans to launch a satellite for the Italian Space Agency and deploy a Starlink satellite fleet. The company attempted to launch the Italian satellite on Friday but a cold front caused unfavorable weather conditions along Florida’s Coast. SpaceX Mission Control scrubbed the launch approximately eight minutes before liftoff. –“Standing down from today’s launch of COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 due to poor weather conditions at the launch site tonight; next opportunity is tomorrow, January 29 at 6:11 p.m. EST,” SpaceX announced. “This shift sets up back-to-back targeted Falcon 9 launches in Florida this weekend with our next Starlink mission set to lift off from LC-39A on Sunday, January 30.” [All dates are subject to change.]
This shift sets up back-to-back targeted Falcon 9 launches in Florida this weekend with our next Starlink mission set to lift off from LC-39A on Sunday, January 30— SpaceX (@SpaceX) January 28, 2022
On Saturday, Italy’s COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 (CSG-2) satellite will be launched by a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket identified as booster B1052-3. It is awaiting lift off at Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, pictured below. The booster was previously one of the cores that made-up a Falcon Heavy rocket. SpaceX connects three modified Falcon 9 first-stage boosters together to create a heavy-lift launch vehicle that generates over 5 million pounds of thrust with its 27 Merlin 1D engines. It is more thrust than any other launch vehicle currently in operation. The booster core that will launch CSG-2 was part of the Falcon Heavy rocket that launched Saudi Arabia’s Arabsat-6A communications satellite and the U.S. military Space Test Program 2 (STP-2) mission in 2019. “After stage separation, Falcon 9 will return to Earth and land on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. One half of the fairings supporting this mission previously supported Transporter-1, Transporter-2, and one Starlink mission, and the other half previously supported SAOCOM 1B, Transporter-2, and one Starlink mission,” SpaceX shared. The company will broadcast the mission Live around 15-minutes before liftoff in the video linked below.
SpaceX will perform the 35th Starlink-dedicated mission on Sunday. The Starlink Group 4-7 mission will launch 49 Starlink satellites atop a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket [pending booster information]. The Falcon 9 is scheduled to lift off at 3:00 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. When this mission is completed there will be approximately 1,923 Starlink satellites in orbit around the Earth out of over 12,000 that SpaceX plans to deploy to provide internet service globally. Starlink already beams internet service to over 145,000 customers across 25 countries. This article will be updated as soon as more information about this mission becomes available. UPDATE: "Due to weather in Florida affecting pre-launch operations, now targeting Sunday, January 30 at 6:11 p.m. EST for launch of COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 from SLC-40. Falcon 9 launch of Starlink from LC-39A shifting to Monday, January 31, and teams are also continuing to work toward launch of NROL-87 from California on Wednesday, February 2," SpaceX announced on January 29.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.