SpaceX’s eighth Starlink mission of the year is just a handful of days away from liftoff, kicking off a potentially record-breaking month after the same launch was delayed from June to July.
Now, instead of June 2020 potentially becoming SpaceX’s first four-launch month, July is now the newest candidate for the milestone. Known as Starlink V1 L9 or Starlink-9, SpaceX’s second Starlink rideshare – carrying 57 Starlink satellites and two BlackSky Earth imaging spacecraft – is scheduled to launch no earlier than noon (ish) EDT (~16:00 UTC) on Wednesday, July 8th. If the schedule holds, that means Starlink-9 will fly just eight days after SpaceX’s successful June 30th launch of the third US military GPS III satellite.
In other words, SpaceX has swapped the GPS III SV03 and Starlink-9 launch order, moving from NET June 30th and June 22nd, respectively, to June 30th and July 8th – still eight days apart. Such a rapid East Coast launch cadence is only possible because of SpaceX’s use of separate launch pads LC-40 and LC-39A, located just a few miles apart at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) and Kennedy Space Center.