SpaceX could launch two Falcon 9 rockets in the space of about six hours

The company will also expend an aging Falcon 9 booster during a mission for the first time.
Chris Young
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch.

SpaceX / Flickr 

SpaceX aims to perform two Falcon 9 rocket launches only six hours apart after a mission scheduled for Nov. 21 was delayed, a report from Teslarati reveals.

Though the weather conditions at Cape Canaveral may scupper the attempts, the missions are another indicator of SpaceX's impressive schedule this year, which has broken records and only recently seen the company launch and land three Falcon 9 boosters in the space of 36 hours.

A record-breaking year for SpaceX

SpaceX announced that it will attempt to launch the Eutelsat 10B communications satellite around 9:57 pm EST (2:57 UTC) on Tuesday, Nov. 22, after that launch was delayed on Nov. 21 "to allow for additional pre-flight checkouts." At the same time, SpaceX's next Cargo Dragon resupply mission, called CRS-26, to the International Space Station (ISS) is on course to launch at around 3:54 pm EST (20:54 UTC) on Nov. 22.

SpaceX did discover a small leak in the Dragon spacecraft earlier this month, which moved the launch of the CRS-26 mission back a day to Nov. 22. By complete coincidence, the timing of the delays for both missions means they will launch only six hours apart.

However, as Teslarati points out, U.S. Space Launch Delta 45 (formerly the 45th Space Wing) forecasts only a 10 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for both launches, meaning it is unlikely they do go ahead. Eutelsat 10B has a backup window on Nov. 23, while CRS-26 could also launch on Nov. 26.

Either way, even if SpaceX doesn't reach another impressive milestone by performing two Falcon 9 rocket launches so close together, this has been another groundbreaking year for the private space firm — even as its CEO Elon Musk has spent countless hours away purchasing and then managing a rather well-known social media firm.

Back in October, Musk tweeted a congratulations to his SpaceX team for completing its 48th launch of the year, meaning Falcon 9 now held the record for "most launches of a single vehicle type in a year".

SpaceX to expend a Falcon 9 booster during mission for the first time

The CRS-26 mission will launch a few thousand pounds of food supplies as well as a number of upgraded solar arrays to the ISS. The mission will also be the first to use SpaceX's new C211 Cargo Dragon 2 spacecraft after the company announced it would no longer be producing new Dragon capsules in order to focus its efforts on getting Starship into orbit.

The Eutelsat 10B will also be the first SpaceX mission to intentionally expend a Falcon booster that the company will no longer reuse due to its age. The Falcon 9 B1049 booster is the oldest in SpaceX's fleet, and it will fly its tenth and final mission. The fact that SpaceX will expend the booster means it will be able to fly at a different trajectory and will be able to boost the 5.5-ton Eutelsat 10B communications satellite into a higher orbit than it would have done otherwise.

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