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Watch live: SpaceX seeks to tie its record for most launches in a year

Postby bmh67wa » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:50 pm

Story : https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/11/spacex-seeks-to-tie-its-record-for-most-





In 2017, SpaceX finally answered critics of the company who said it had not delivered on the promise of a high flight rate for its low-cost launch program.

Prior to last year, the critics were not wrong—SpaceX had never successfully launched more than eight rockets in any given year. Finally, in 2017, it attempted 18 launches, and all made it safely into space. The SpaceX steamroller had arrived.

This year the company has had a lot on its plate. It flew the large Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time in February. It introduced a brand-new, potentially highly reusable variant of the Falcon 9 rocket in May. And all throughout the year, the company's engineers have been scrambling to finalize development of the Dragon spacecraft to meet NASA's needs to get its astronauts to the International Space Station.

Even so, the company has maintained a steady launch cadence, and on Thursday the company will attempt its 18th mission of this year from Launch Complex-39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Thursday launch window for the Es’hail-2 satellite mission opens at 3:46pm ET (20:46 UTC) and lasts until 5:29pm ET (22:29 UTC). Weather conditions are 60 percent favorable, and a back-up launch window exists for Friday afternoon.







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