Wed. Sep 27th, 2023
SpaceX to Launch 17th Flight of Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX is set to make history with the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket using a first stage booster that has already completed 16 flights. The launch is scheduled for Tuesday night from Cape Canaveral, carrying 22 satellites for the Starlink internet network.

The booster, known as serial number 1060, will be making its 17th flight for the Starlink 6-17 mission. This is a record-breaking achievement for booster reusability. SpaceX has previously certified its Falcon 9 first-stage boosters for up to 20 flights.

The rocket’s first stage, which will be used for the 17th time, first flew in June 2020 when it carried the GPS 3-3 satellite for the U.S. Space Force. Since then, it has completed various missions, including delivering satellites for the Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, Intelsat G-33/G-34, Transporter-6, and Starlink projects.

However, there are concerns about the weather conditions for the launch. Space Force meteorologists are monitoring a weather front near Florida’s space coast and an approaching storm in the Atlantic. The forecast predicts a 60 percent chance of favorable weather for launch, with the main concern being the cumulus cloud rule violation. If the launch is delayed, the weather conditions are expected to deteriorate, reducing the chances of a successful launch to only 30 percent.

This launch will also mark the 20th launch of the V2 mini Starlink satellites, which offer greater bandwidth compared to previous versions. The full-sized V2 Starlink satellites were originally intended to be launched using SpaceX’s Starship vehicle, but due to delays in its debut, a condensed version of the satellites was created so that they could be launched on Falcon 9.

Overall, this launch represents another milestone for SpaceX in its pursuit of reusable rocket technology, paving the way for more cost-effective and efficient space missions in the future.