Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Business As Usual

It's getting to be that.  A few days ago, Elon Musk tweeted that for the first time all four launch pads that SpaceX can use had vehicles on them: SLC-40 and LC-39A at Cape Canaveral SFS, LC-4E at Vandenberg SFS on the opposite coast of the US, and the Boca Chica's Orbital Launch Mount in Texas.  

But gosh: that's so old!  That's 1:36 AM on Wednesday!  (Central Time, I think - it's from Teslarati, not me) 

On LC-39A, the Falcon Heavy was being tested and readied for static fire later in the day; launch is set to be No Earlier Than Saturday, Jan. 14 at 5:55 PM EST.  SLC-40 was holding the One Web 16 batch of satellites and SLC-4E was preparing for the Starlink 2-4 mission - delayed by weather until Sunday, Jan. 15th at 8:18 AM PST (11:18 EST).  SLC-40's One Web 16 mission launched Jan. 9th at 11:50 PM, so "a few" hours before that tweet.  That meant all four pads were briefly not carrying rockets.  

That's OK, though, because now SLC-40 is being readied for its next mission, GPS III-6, next Wednesday, Jan. 18th at 7:00 AM EST, so now they're back to Business As Usual.  

The other thing he mentioned in that Tweet was the return to Earth of the Cargo Dragon launched in November, CRS-26; that also went without a hitch. 

Wednesday's static fire test of the full 27 engines on the Falcon 9 core and two side boosters.  SpaceX photo

Before I go, I have to show this Tweet from a local news service called Talk of Titusville.  This is kind of "life around here" in a nutshell.  "Oh, it's just a top secret payload.  Don't mind us." 

That blue circle with white arrow shows it actually is a video of this fairing containing the Top Secret payload for Saturday's USSF-67 launch.  You can watch it here (self-starting video that comes up a bit loud).  It just drives down that road for a minute.


  1. Go, Falcon Heavy ! Go, USSF-67 !!

  2. Imagine where we'd be now if we'd opened space up to private enterprise 50 years ago.