Except for the delays, SpaceX appears to be on track to launch a batch of 60 Starlink satellites and perform a fifth high-altitude Starship flight test a few hours away on Tuesday, May 4th.
Around 1 a.m. on May 3, SpaceX successfully completed a wet clothing rehearsal (WDR) and a static fire test using the Falcon 9 B1049 booster, an extendable upper stage and the last stack of Starlink satellites. About eight hours later, as usual, SpaceX confirmed via social media that the test was a success and that the 25th Starlink operational mission is expected to be launched no earlier than 3:01 pm EDT (7:01 pm UTC), Tuesday. . .
Simultaneously, after some delays, SpaceX also seems to be on track to try the first launch of a Ship with “hundreds of upgrades” between ~ 1:00 pm and ~ 8:00 pm CDT (6:00 pm – 1:00 am UTC) on the same Tuesday.
Starlink-25 will be SpaceX’s second launch of the world of the day by Falcon 9 in a few months – rare recently due to the arcane specificity of the constellation’s orbital mechanics. In addition to providing a much better overall picture of the launch, the Starlink-25 launch target at 3:01 pm EDT means that Falcon 9 and Starship SN15 could be technically launched at exactly the same time. in Florida and Texas.
Although SpaceX is unlikely to actually allow it really simultaneous launches and I’m not sure if such a thing is even possible, it It is it is possible that SpaceX will launch Starship SN15 at some point in about 50 minutes Starlink-25 will be quietly in orbit. However, most likely, SpaceX will use the eight-hour window of the Starship SN15 and wait for the Starlink-25 to be completed, unless some kind of invading weather system reduces that window to a few hours.
This means, however, that Starlink-25 and Starship SN15 could be launched in six hours from each other, although the experimental missile prototype is much more likely to experience minor delays and push this gap to a day or two. Moreover, SpaceX itself warns that “it follows the weather in [Starlink-25] recovery area ”, which means that sea conditions could also delay the launch of Starlink by a day or two.
Finally, it looks like both rockets will be launched before the end of the week. Stay tuned for how far they will be “back to back”.