January 3 (UPI) — Just in 2020, SpaceX, the U.S. space exploration technology company, is set to embark on its busiest launch month in history, possibly breaking the previous record for the most single-month launches,media reported. SpaceX is expected to launch four launches in January if its plan remains unchanged. Now, SpaceX is preparing for its first launch in 2020, the satellite Internet Starlink-2 mission launch. This is the third time SpaceX has launched 60 connected satellites and the second of the upgraded starlink v1.0, which is scheduled to launch on January 6.
Figure 1: SpaceX hopes to launch 30 Falcon 9 rockets in 2020 and four in its first month
Less than five days after the launch, SpaceX and NASA plan to abort testing the manned Dragon spacecraft (IFA) around 8 a.m. EST on January 11, which will be the spacecraft’s second launch on the Falcon 9 rocket.
Figure 2: At the center of the picture, the Falcon 9 rocket booster B1049 plans to launch Starlink-2, its fourth orbital-class mission in 16 months
In addition to launching Starlink-2 and helping manned Dragon spacecraft conduct IFA tests, SpaceX plans to launch two more 60 satellite missions this month, launching Starlink-4 in mid-January and starlink-4 at the end of The Month. But given that the Starlink-2 launch was postponed from December 30 to January 3 and finally to 6 January, there are significant challenges, but not no opportunities, for Starlink-4 to launch in January.
Although the manned Dragon spacecraft’s mid-flight suspension tests are conducted in suborbital orbits, if SpaceX is able to complete all four of these launches by January 2020, it will still set a record for the largest number of launches of a Falcon 9 rocket in a single month. In fact, given that Starlink-2 is now scheduled to launch no earlier than January 6, SpaceX actually needs to launch a rocket every six days to complete its tentative list. This would be an impressive feat, and if the launch rate is maintained throughout 2020, SpaceX will conduct more than 60 launches a year.
Figure 3: SpaceX prepares to launch crS-16 with a Falcon 9 rocket in December 2018
SpaceX has launched an average of less than 1.5 times a month in the nine-and-a-half years since the Falcon 9 rocket went into operation. However, the company did not become a true launch provider until 2017 and has since conducted 52 orbital launches, meaning that nearly 69 percent of the Falcon rocket family’s launches were completed in less than 36 months, a period of only 30 percent of its operational life.
In the past three unusually busy years, SpaceX has launched an average of more than 17 times a year, and the company has launched only three Falcon 9 rockets in the same month, in June 2017, October 2017 and December 2018.
Figure 4: Aerial view of SpaceX’s KSC LC-39A launch facility in February 2019
If SpaceX could rely not only on its Calaver point seq. LC-40 launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) for commercial launches, but also from the LC-39A launch pad at Kennedy Space Center every month or every two months, the pace of the launch would actually be possible, including support for the Cargo Dragon spacecraft. Dragon), Cargo Dragon 2 and Falcon Heavy Rocket launchers.
Recent FCC documents show that SpaceX is considering more commercial launches from the 39A launch pad in 2020. In fact, including ifA testing of the manned Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon Heavy rocket launch scheduled for the U.S. Air Force by the end of 2020, the 39A launch pad is already scheduled for up to five launches.
SpaceX currently plans to conduct as many as 36 to 38 separate orbital launches by 2020. Kicking off 2020 with the busiest rocket launch month ever, it will be the perfect sign that SpaceX is on its ambitious target for the rest of the year. (Small)