SpaceX will attempt to launch Starlink 15 at 9:13 PM EST or 02:13 UTC on November 24th from launch complex 40 Cape Canaveral Florida.
The company has had to delay this launch attempt twice now on November 22nd for a presumed GSE ground support equipment issue and on November 23rd for poor weather and high seas in the booster landing zone recovery area off the South Carolina coast in the Atlantic ocean.
The two corporate milestones for SpaceX will be the seventh flight of a first stage booster B-1049.7 which will become the fleet leader for SpaceX and the 100th flight of the Falcon 9 full thrust version. Both of these accomplishments are huge for SpaceX after coming off a flawless Crew-1 flight to the International Space Station with four astronauts on board on November 15th 2020. Currently only two SpaceX boosters have flown six times to date.
The first expendable Falcon 1 version (2006-2009) failed on its first three attempts on Omelek Island. Elon Musk had enough money to scrape together one more rocket attempt with the remaining available spare parts and the 4th mission became the first privately developed liquid fuel launch vehicle to go into orbit around the earth on September 28th 2008. It was estimated these early launches cost SpaceX and Elon Musk 7 million dollars per launch. Both Falcon 1 flight 4 and 5 were successful in reaching orbit and started this company on an amazing trajectory leading to tonight’s launch.
The progression of Falcon 9 launches started with the v1.0 rocket from (2010- 2013) to the v1.1 version from (2013-2016) and the v1.2 full thrust version from (2015 to Present) including the Block 5 variant flying now since May 2018.
100 flights with the Falcon 9 is truly a remarkable accomplishment for SpaceX and looking forward to seeing this success tonight.
Not counting tonight’s launch attempt spacex.com/missions has 103 Total Launches (successful) 66 Total Landings and 45 Re-flown Rockets
Article and Photos Credit: Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu & space-news.es