Follow SpaceX The latest Falcon Heavy sight With the Falcon 9 launching shortly after sunrise, resulting in more ethereal views of the company’s rockets in action.
SpaceX’s visual style is off to a strong start in 2023. All of the rocket launches are fairly impressive, but SpaceX managed to complete the first twilight launch of its Falcon Heavy and launch of the backlit Falcon 9 by morning sun with a difference of less than three days. Falcon Heavy kicked off the duo Jan. 15 with the successful launch of the US Space Force’s USSF-67 mission. Three times more powerful than the Falcon 9 and the most capable commercial rocket ever, the Falcon Heavy lifted off shortly after sunset. The fury of its exhaust was amplified by the twilight sky as it rose back into the sunlight, producing it One of the most exciting launches in SpaceX history.
62 hours later, a Falcon 9 rocket launched from SpaceX’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS) with the US Army’s Sixth Center. GPS Navigation Satellite III upgrade inside the fairing of the load. The mission was flawlessly successful. Falcon 9 Booster B1077 landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas drone ship eight and a half minutes after takeoff, completing its second-class launch and landing. 90 minutes after leaving Earth, the Falcon 9 upper stage Deployment of the GPS III SV06 satellite to me nominal transfer orbit One end is 392 kilometers and the other is 20,170 kilometers (about 12,530 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The satellite will use its own thrust to lift itself into a circular orbit, where it will eventually enter the process and begin distributing more accurate position information.
For unknown reasons, SpaceX delayed the launch by 14 minutes, pushing T-0’s time from 7:10 a.m. to 7:24 a.m. — from just before sunrise to just after sunrise. As a result, instead of a brief twilight scene, the Falcon 9 took off with the morning sun low in the sky and almost directly behind the rocket from certain vantage points. Solar rocket transits are potentially rarer than perfect aurora launches, making them an impressive pair of back-to-back SpaceX missions.
Heading towards 100?
GPS III SV06 was SpaceX’s fourth launch in the first 18 days of 2023. This pace is far from unusual yet. A company record in 2022, but the fact that three of those missions were launched from a single platform — the LC-40 — is. Over the past six weeks, SpaceX has launched six Falcon 9 rockets from the LC-40 — an average of one launch every seven days. This sustained cadence is unprecedented for one SpaceX board, and it has three.
In 2022, the LC-40 managed 33 launches — once every 11 days. It’s California facilities (SLC-4E) and Kennedy Space Center (Pad 39A) combined to support 28 launches, for a total of 61 Falcon launches last year. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s goal of 100 launches in 2023 is known to be exceptionally ambitious and may be difficult to achieve. But really, SpaceX’s performance over the past six weeks makes this unprecedented goal more and more achievable.
The LC-40 isn’t alone in improving its cadence. For the six backbone platform launches, the SLC-4E managed five launches in the same six-week period. Combined, SpaceX’s three platforms have supported 11 successful launches in the last 42 days, which would equate to 95 launches a year if they continued throughout 2023. Having already maintained that pace for six weeks, and with an almost unbelievable 2022, the launch is done. 100 times in 2023 suddenly seems like a real possibility.
Continuing this relentless push, SpaceX’s next mission – Starlink 2-4 – is scheduled to launch as early as 7:23 AM PST (15:23 UTC) tomorrow, January 19th.