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Conditions look favorable for the next set of back-to-back Space Coast launches from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station this week.
If schedules are on schedule, SpaceX is first at KSC pad 39A with another batch of Starlink internet satellites scheduled for liftoff between 6:10 a.m. and 7:10 a.m. ET on Wednesday, May 18. The Space Force said Monday that conditions should be 80% “go” for this liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket.
“Southerly winds will keep temperatures high in central Florida and allow daily sea breeze interactions to produce isolated showers and thunderstorms each afternoon and evening,” Space Launch Delta forecasters said. 45. “Tuesday and Wednesday, the remnants of the frontier will stop mostly north of the Space Coast, but will add ingredients to improve shower and thunderstorm coverage and intensity.”
This will mark the company’s 48th launch of the internet constellation and, along a northeast trajectory, will include a drone landing in the Atlantic Ocean.
About 36 hours after Falcon 9, United Launch Alliance is next on the eastern channel. An Atlas V rocket equipped with a Boeing Starliner capsule will make the company’s second attempt to autonomously reach the International Space Station without a crew on board after a 2019 version failed and had to return to Earth earlier than planned. .
Conditions are expected to be 70% “participating” for liftoff Thursday at 6:54 p.m. ET from Launch Complex 41 in Cape Town.
“For (rocket deployment) Wednesday, mostly dry conditions are expected with only a small chance, less than 20%, of showers or thunderstorms in the afternoon as the sea breeze from the Atlantic is expanding and moving inland,” forecasters said Monday. “Similar conditions are expected on Thursday with isolated afternoon activity expected to develop near or just west of the launch complex.”
If all goes as planned, Atlas V will propel Starliner into orbit, where it will fly to the ISS and dock there. After an as yet unannounced period attached to the outpost, Starliner will undocking and return to land at the Army’s White Sands missile range in New Mexico.
Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon were selected by NASA to return astronauts to the ISS after the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. SpaceX has flown five crew since 2020, while Boeing plans to fly its first this year if Thursday’s launch goes well.
Boeing’s mission is also known as Orbital Flight Test 2, or OFT-2.
For the latest information, visit floridatoday.com/launchschedule.
Contact Emre Kelly at email@example.com or 321-242-3715. Follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at @EmreKelly.
Launch Wednesday, May 18
- Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9
- Mission: 48th Starlink launch
- Launch Time: 6:10 a.m. to 7:10 a.m. ET
- Launch Pad: 39A at Kennedy Space Center
- Trajectory: North-East
- Landing: drone ship
- Weather: 80% “go”
Visit floridatoday.com/space at 5 a.m. EDT Wednesday, May 18 for real-time updates and Falcon 9 launch video.
Launch Thursday, May 19
- Rocket: United Launch Alliance Atlas V
- Mission: Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2
- Launch time: 6:54 p.m. EDT
- Launch Complex: 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
- Trajectory: North-East
- Weather: 70% “leave”
Visit floridatoday.com/space at 5 p.m. EDT Thursday, May 19 for real-time updates and Atlas V launch video.