SpaceX proposing big launch rate increase in Florida


Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

Capitalism in space: According to documents filed with the FCC, SpaceX is planning a big increase in the number of launches from its two launchpads in Florida in the next few years.

SpaceX projects performing 38 launches from Florida in 2020, 30 from SLC-40 and eight from LC-39A. By 2023, the company projects as many as 70 launches, 50 from SLC-40 and 20 from LC-39A, an annual rate that holds steady through 2025. The vast majority would be Falcon 9 launches, although it expects as many as 10 Falcon Heavy launches a year, all from LC-39A.

These numbers include both Dragon cargo and crew launches, Starlink satellite launches, and a variety of other commercial customers, including launches into polar orbits, something that in the past was reserved for Vandenberg on the west coast, not Florida. The launch estimates are also likely high, as they come from an environmental assessment. SpaceX probably wants to get clearance for this many launches, just in case things go far better than expected. They will likely do less, though I would not be surprised if the numbers are still record-setting.

In addition, the documents outline SpaceX’s plans to build a mobile launch tower to accommodate national security payloads that must be installed on their rocket vertically. Falcon Heavy could provide this service, but right now its payloads get installed horizontally.

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