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SpaceX readies for busy week

October 4, 2022

By Chris Forrester

SpaceX scrubbed a planned launch of 52 of its Starlink satellites (Mission 4-29) to its orbital fleet in a launch from Vandenburg. Originally scheduled for October 4th,there is now some uncertainty given the busy schedule that SpaceX has this week. At press time, it is hoped to get the launch away later today (October 4th) at 4.35pm California time.

The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched NROL-87, NROL-85, SARah-1, and one Starlink mission. Following stage separation, the first stage will land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, which is stationed in the Pacific Ocean.

The launch, if it happens on time, represents the start of a busy week for SpaceX. The launch is the 44th for this year, a launch cadence every 6.27 days.

SpaceX is also scheduled to launch a NASA Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station on October 5th from Florida. If there’s any clash between the flight schedules, then the Starlink launch will be delayed a few days.

On October 6th, another Falcon 9 rocket will carry two Intelsat satellites (Galaxy 33 and Galaxy 34) into orbit.

Galaxy 33 is the replacement satellite at 133 degrees West, once it is in service in November. The satellite will provide service continuity for distribution to cable head-ends throughout the US.

Galaxy 34 will replace Galaxy 12 at 129 degrees West, once it is in service in late 2022. This satellite will serve as the new restoration payload for Intelsat’s Galaxy cable distribution customers, allowing the previous restoration role at 121 degrees West to be converted to a core, cable distribution satellite.

Next week (currently on October 14th) SpaceX will launch Eutelsat’s Hotbird-13F.

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