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Triple launch weekend for SpaceX

May 18, 2023

By Chris Forrester

SpaceX is prepping for a busy weekend. On May 19th it will handle two missions: The first will take 22 Generation-2 ‘Mini’ Starlink satellites into orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in the early hours at 04.41 UTC.

Launch two will take care of the Iridium/OneWeb mission at 13.19 UTC and from Vandenberg in California.

Launch three is on May 21st when SpaceX will take the Axiom mission, with a crew of four astronauts in a Dragon capsule from Kennedy Space Centre up to the International Space Station (scheduled for 21.37 UTC subject to the usual weather conditions).

The first Starlink launch will place 22 of the latest Second-generation ‘Mini’ satellites into orbit. Following stage separation, the first stage will land on the ‘A Shortfall of Gravitas’ droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Later on May 19th, the launch from Vandenberg of the Iridium/OneWeb mission which is for two separate clients. The Iridium task is to launch five of its satellites into orbit which will replace craft launched between 2017-2019.

The OneWeb batch will see 16 craft launched, of which 15 will become in-orbit spares. The 16th is dubbed ‘JoeySat’ and which is a second-generation satellite which will be used for testing and demonstration of the upgraded version.

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