2019 SpaceX Rocket Launches, No Starlink Launches on Published Schedule?

The “important launches” for SpaceX in 2019 are listed HERE.

My problem is I did not see any Starlink launches scheduled in 2019.  There may not be any scheduled or they are not considered “important launches”, just routine delivery missions.

According to a 2017 WSJ story SpaceX was planning 52 launches in 2019. The schedule above lists only 12 launches. 

In contrast,  OneWeb has booked 21 Soyuz missions, including the launch of the first six birds on 27 Feb 2019.

 “The following 20 Soyuz flights are expected to loft up to 36 satellites at a time from launch pads in at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia, and the Guiana Space Center in South America.”

“OneWeb’s satellites are in polar orbit around 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) above Earth, but the Soyuz launchers release the spacecraft — each about the size of a mini-fridge — at a lower altitude. The satellites use plasma thrusters to maneuver into the OneWeb constellation.”

More details  HERE.

Update 03-06-19 from NASA Spaceflight.com

Additionally, SpaceX recently filed for the FCC licenses needed to support a Falcon 9 launch from SLC-40 and a recovery on OCISLY. The droneship will be positioned about 600 kilometers downrange to the northeast. Interestingly, there is not a SpaceX customer on the near-term manifest with a payload that would require such a trajectory.

NASASpaceflight.com now understands that this is the first dedicated flight for SpaceX’s proposed low earth orbit internet constellation called Starlink.

Two Starlink demonstration satellites named Tintin A and Tintin B were launched from Vandenberg in February of last year as rideshares with the Paz mission.

However, this time around the launch is expected to be dedicated to Starlink. Given that the position of the droneship will be over 600 kilometers downrange, it is expected that the flight will require a substantial amount of performance from the Falcon 9. As a result, SpaceX will likely be flying several Starlink spacecraft as opposed to just two.

No indication how many Starlink birds per launch, however here are some estimates. 

The Falcon 9 Wikipedia page cites a 9 600kg payload capability in the reusable configuration. This would amount to a staggering 24 satellites per launch.

A more likely configuration due to space and weight limitations would be 20 for Falcon 9, 64 for a Falcon Heavy and 304 for a BFR.  

More details HERE.

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