February 17, 2020 - 18:34 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - SpaceX is set to launch its fifth batch of Starlink internet satellites on Monday, Feb. 17. Liftoff is scheduled for 10:05 Eastern (15:05 UTC) from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The mission will feature the fastest turnaround time to-date of a Falcon first stage booster, NASASpaceFlight.com reports.
The first stage booster for the Starlink mission is serial number B1056. The flight will be the core’s fourth mission.
The booster’s most recent launch was JCSAT-18/Kacific1, occurring on Dec. 16 at 19:10 Eastern. Thus, less than 63 days will have elapsed between the third and fourth flights of B1056.
This will be a new first stage turnaround record for SpaceX.
The company’s previous record was a 72-day turnaround of Block 4 booster B1045 between the TESS and CRS-15 missions for NASA in 2018.
A 63-day turnaround will move SpaceX closer to the current all-time record for an orbital-class launch vehicle. Space Shuttle Atlantis is the current record holder, with only 54 days between the launches of STS-51J and STS-61B.
With SpaceX getting increasingly better at reusing rockets, it is seemingly only a matter of time before the company beats Atlantis’ record.
SpaceX launched B1056 for the first time with the CRS-17 launch on May 4, 2019. The booster’s second flight was then the CRS-18 mission on July 25. Following CRS-18, the booster went on a several months long break, until it flew again on Dec. 16 with the JCSAT-18/Kacific 1 mission.