SpaceX continues to launch Falcon 9 rockets from Launch Complex 39A in Florida as construction work advances on the nearby tower for the company’s next-generation Starship rocket. Overnight Tuesday, SpaceX rolled another Falcon 9 to pad 39A for liftoff with the next batch of Starlink internet satellites, just hours after another section of the Starship gantry tower arrived at the pad.
With two rockets from industry rivals United Launch Alliance and SpaceX ready for liftoff just 12 hours apart Thursday, the Cape Canaveral spaceport is poised to surpass the record for most missions in a year to fly into orbit from its launch pads. The launch day doubleheader would also mark the shortest span between two space launches from Florida’s Space Coast since 1967.
OneWeb and Eutelsat announced plans to merge Tuesday, bringing together OneWeb’s network of internet satellites in low Earth orbit with Eutelsat’s fleet of larger video, data relay, and broadband platforms in geostationary orbit. OneWeb says it is on track to resume deploying its remaining internet satellites as soon as September, with three SpaceX flights and two Indian launches on tap to replace Russian Soyuz rockets no longer available after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
SpaceX sent another cluster of 53 Starlink internet satellites into orbit Sunday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, the company’s 33rd mission of the year and sixth launch of July. Liftoff from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida occurred at 9:38 a.m. EDT (1338 GMT). The Falcon 9 booster landed on SpaceX’s drone ship parked downrange in the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral.
SpaceX test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Saturday in preparation for liftoff Sunday with the company’s next batch of 53 Starlink internet satellites. Test-firings on the launch pad were once a customary part of every SpaceX launch campaign, but the company is phasing out the static fire tests for most missions as the Falcon 9 launch cadence has ramped up to an average of one flight per week