SpaceX plans to launch 52 missions in 2022. To complete the ambitious launch manifest the company would have to launch rockets at least once a week throughout the year. SpaceX has a busy week ahead, multiple Falcon 9 rockets await for weather to clear up in Florida and there is also a mission that will lift off from California. The company aimed to launch an Italian Space Agency satellite on Saturday morning but thick cloud coverage and rain showers along Florida’s Coast postponed lift off a third time, causing a pair of planned missions to get delayed. “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,” SpaceX announced. The Italian satellite will lift off from Space Launch Complex-40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
SpaceX also planned to launch the 35th Starlink-dedicated mission from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex-39A (LC-39A) this weekend, now, “Falcon 9 launch of Starlink from LC-39A [is] shifting to Monday, January 31,” SpaceX said. The Starlink Group 4-7 mission will deploy 49 internet-beaming Starlink satellites to Low Earth Orbit. A previously-flown Falcon 9 is scheduled to propel to space at 2:17 p.m. EST. Forecasters with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron predict a 90% chance of acceptable weather conditions for lift off. Good weather conditions at sea are necessary for SpaceX to recover the Falcon 9 first-stage booster by landing it on an autonomous drone ship.
SpaceX shared that “teams are also continuing to work toward launch of NROL-87 from California on Wednesday, February 2.” The NROL-87 mission will launch a top secret payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the United States agency manages spy satellites. It will be the first launch of the year from the Vandenberg Space Force Base. SpaceX will broadcast each mission, video(s) linked below. This article will be updated if more information becomes available. [All dates are subject to change.]01/30/2022 UPDATE: Launch of COSMO-SkyMed postponed again. New launch date information in SpaceX's Most recent Tweet update linked below.
Standing down from today's launch of COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2 due to ship in the hazard area; team is setting up for next opportunity tomorrow, January 31 at 6:11 p.m. EST
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.