SpaceX’s Race to 100 Launches: The Latest Updates and Milestones

Last night, a Falcon 9 took off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and delivered another 23 Starlink satellites into orbit. The launch took place at 11:00 pm ET (04:00 UTC) and marked the continued build-out of the Group 6 Starlink shell, known as Group 6-31.

The 23 V2 mini Starlinks were placed into a 43-degree orbital inclination, following the same trajectory as the previous Group 6 missions. The satellites separated from the 2nd stage just over an hour after the launch. This was SpaceX’s 89th orbital mission of the year as they work towards reaching 100 launches in a year. The majority of launches have been from SLC-40, with an average pad turnaround time of just under 5 days.

Moving forward, there are five more launches scheduled for December 14th, including a Falcon Heavy from LC-39A. Beyond that date, there could be at least eight more launches if schedules hold, although weather and technical issues could cause delays. And after a slight delay, the Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship.

The Falcon 9 for this mission was Booster 1078, making its 6th flight. It had last flown 78 days prior, with the average turnaround time for boosters hovering around 45 days. B1078 successfully landed on the droneship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” about eight and a half minutes after launch. After this, SpaceX is gearing up for two Starlink launches, one from Florida scheduled no earlier than December 6th, and another from California no earlier than December 8th, followed by the Falcon Heavy launch currently scheduled for December 10th after a slight delay.

For any questions or comments, feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected], or Tweet me @RDAnglePhoto.

SpaceX continues its march to 100 launches in a year


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