SpaceX Adds Third Starling Release to Busy October Manifesto

SpaceX has added another Starling release to its October manifesto and plans to support the project with the record-breaking Falcon 9 booster breakthrough.

Several media outlets recently confirmed it SpaceX will attempt to launch the Starling-13 – 13th launch of Operational v1.0 satellites and 14th overall launch – October 18 (NET) No earlier than 8:25 am EDT (12:25 UTC). Two days later, SpaceX intends to launch Starling-14 three days later, according to, which airs on Wednesday, October 21st at 12:36 p.m.

Meanwhile, the United Launch Alliance (ULA)’s eighth attempt to launch the NROL-44 spy satellite of the Delta IV heavy rocket’s National Renaissance Office is scheduled for October 10 at 10:00 EDT (02:00 UTC). As a result, with the exception of one (recently) rare occurrence of two back-to-back time launches, SpaceX and ULA have been reversed again in Florida’s Cape Canaveral release range.

Originally scheduled to launch by June 2020, the Delta IV Heavy NROL-44 release fell to August, finally landing on August 26th. Thus began a bizarre series of delays. The first delay on August 27 was due to bad pressure systems, after which a rare ignition release was stopped on August 29th. For delta IV heavy, such abortion is necessary At least Several weeks of rework and the next NROL-44 launch attempt came on September 26, which was halted due to issues related to the navel “swing arm” of the pads. The weather on September 28th wiped out another attempt, while the backup on September 29th was stopped due to a leak in a pad hydraulic system. Last but certainly not least, Delta IV Heavy had another last second abortion on September 30th at T-7 seconds.

At all times, the U.S. Air Force has prioritized the NROL-44 mission range, which means that the U.S. Air Force is responsible for enforcing border protection and providing weather forecasts until the ULA launch is completed or significantly delayed. Combined with warmer weather, the ULA’s range of priorities contributed to several SpaceX Starling and GPS III SV04 launch delays in September and early October. Now, if SpaceX can’t launch Starling-13 and Starling-14 on time on October 18 and 21, Snowball will be further delayed by more than a day or two as Delta IV arrives on the heavy stage.

Over the past few years, ULA’s Delta IV heavy rocket – now on its fifth to last voyage – has been in high spirits. (ULA)
Prior to a few technical launch delays, the Falcon 9 Black 5 was largely relieved of delays caused by large rockets. (Richard Angle)

Regardless of table uncertainty and the potential for delays, if SpaceX successfully launches Starling-13 and Starling-14 within the next two or more weeks, October will see the launch of three Starling missions for the first time in a month. If missions were not for Starling, SpaceX would effectively build the world’s second-largest commercial satellite galaxy in 30 days.

In addition, SpaceX reports that the Falcon 9 Booster P1060 has been assigned to the Starling-14. Stopping at the Starling-14 timetable on October 21st, the B1060 will beat the B1058 for the crown of the fastest booster breakthrough and launch twice in 48 days. The Falcon 9B 1058 set the current world record When NASA’s spacecraft (54 days) was defeated earlier this year with a 51 – day turn.

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Phil Schwartz

"Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff."

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