A SpaceX Falcon 9 appears to have a decent chance of taking off on Tuesday, with a 60 percent favorable weather forecast for the launch of a new US military GPS satellite.
SpaceX will attempt its third launch from itson May 30, while trying for the first time to land one of his rockets after deploying a military satellite.
The mission planned to raise the newsatellite into orbit will be the company’s eleventh launch in 2020. Continuing this intense launch rate would allow Elon Musk’s commercial space startup to easily set a company record for most launches in a year.
The company launched another military GPS satellite in 2018. At that time, the US Air Force determined that SpaceX would be unable to perform the necessary flight path and would not land the first-stage booster, either, according to SpaceNews.
Since then, the company and the U.S. Army have negotiated changes to its GPS mission requirements and the cost of launch to allow SpaceX to attempt to land its first stage after raising the satellite on Tuesday.
The launch window from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station opens at 12:55 pm PT / 3:55 pm local time. The weather is 60% favorable for Tuesday’s launch, according to SpaceX.
More to come soon
SpaceX had also scheduled its second Starlink carpool mission for last week, but the launch was finally postponed, and a new date for that takeoff has yet to be announced.
“The team needed additional time for pre-launch payments, but Falcon 9 and the satellites are healthy,” SpaceX tweeted a couple of hours before the scheduled launch time for Friday.
SpaceX had its busiest year so far in 2018 with 21 launches. He is now on his way to eclipse that mark in 2020, perhaps hitting 38 launches for the year if his plans work. The company expects to continue packing its schedule with more takeoffs, with the goal of 70 missions in 2023, according to a draft submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year.
Many of the launches will be Starlink missions, as SpaceX seeks to put tens of thousands of its small satellites into orbit this decade. The company has also started, making room for some commercial loads along with a batch of Starlink birds.
Starlink’s next launch will be Starlink’s second ride, this time with two Earth observation microsatellites for Black Sky, a company that provides high-definition satellite imagery.
SpaceX is trying to expand the size of its growing constellation to almost 600 satellites and closer to the threshold of 800 flying routers than.