SpaceX is planning to start the week with a bang, or a few, as Elon Musk’s company aims to fly up to three Falcon 9 missions over the next two days, including possible back-to-back launches from Florida within 24 hours.
The first liftoff is set for Monday, when a rocket topped with an Italian surveillance satellite is currently scheduled to leave Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 3:11 p.m. PT (6:11 p.m. ET). Then, a Starlink launch is on tap Tuesday from adjacent Kennedy Space Center, followed by mission for the National Reconnaissance Office from California Wednesday.
Things weren’t supposed to line up this way. Monday’s launch was originally planned for last week, but got pushed back a few days by poor weather. A Sunday evening attempt then got scrubbed at the literal last minute due to a cruise ship in the launch exclusion zone.
SpaceX’s launch director called it off with just over 30 seconds to go before engine ignition.
“Port Canaveral and Coast Guard confirm the cruise ship that violated yesterday’s SpaceX launch hazard area was Harmony of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship,” reports Emre Kelly of Florida Today.
Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Starlink launch has also been pushed back a few times and was set to happen Monday, but Sunday’s scrub appears to have postponed it again to Tuesday. Of course, further delays are always possible, so this launch itinerary could get reshuffled yet again.
If the company does manage three launches in under 48 hours, it will set a new record for the shortest period of time for a single launch provider to do so.
Whenever the next mission does get off the ground it will be the fourth of 2022 for SpaceX. All three flights will be livestreamed starting about 10 minutes before launch. Check back for updates as the situation evolves.