Back-to-back launches in Florida’s Space Coast nearly broke a half-century record on Thursday night during SpaceX’s attempt.
The Starlink satellite launch on the Falcon 9 rocket from SLC-40 is scheduled for around 10:20 p.m. ET. The Falcon Heavy rocket launch was scheduled nearby in just 30 minutes. SpaceX delayed the Falcon Heavy mission, which was to launch
the Jupiter 3 satellite for EchoStar. The launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) is rescheduled from Thursday afternoon to Friday evening.
The Eastern Range is a US rocket range for launches from Kennedy or Cape Canaveral. Space Launch Delta 45 maintains the Eastern Range for the US Space Force. Space Launch Delta 45 is the unit of the United States Space Force that maintains the Eastern Range.
In a series of social media posts published on Thursday, SLD 45 mentioned the possibility that the two launches carried out by SpaceX could have surpassed a record that had been established by the Gemini 11 mission in September 1966. The Atlas-Agena D rocket and the modified Titan II rocket were both employed in that NASA mission, and the two rockets were launched 1 hour, 37 minutes, and 25 secondsapart. “This could represent the shortest time between Earth to orbit launches from the Eastern Range in our written records,” SLD 45 stated. “This could represent the shortest time between Earth to orbit launches from the Eastern Range.” “Follow along as we attempt to re-write the record books here on the Space Coast!”
Because of the increasingly congested airspace required for each mission, regulators are required to clear windows of time before rocket launches may take place.
If the launches had taken place, they would have been SpaceX’s 51st and 52nd for the year.