A SpaceX Falcon 9 launches from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on April 5, 2024.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 launches from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on April 5, 2024. (SpaceX/TNS)

(Tribune News Service) — SpaceX sent up one rocket Saturday and has one more set for Sunday from the Space Coast.

First up was a Falcon 9 on the Galileo L12 mission carrying global navigation satellites for the European Commission from Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39-A at 8:34 p.m.

The first-stage booster flew for a record-tying 20th time, but was expended getting the payload to medium-Earth orbit.

The second launch this weekend is planned for Sunday when a Falcon 9 carrying 23 Starlink satellites aims to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 targeting the opening of a four-hour window from 5:50-9:50 p.m. with a backup Monday during a four-hour window that opens at 5:25 p.m.

The first-stage booster is flying for the 13th time and will attempt a recovery landing downrange on the droneship Just Read the Instructions in the Atlantic.

These mark the 31st and 32nd launches of 2024 from the Space Coast, all but two of which have been by SpaceX.

United Launch Alliance flew the other two, with the first ever Vulcan Centaur launch in January and the final Delta IV Heavy launch earlier this month.

It has its third lined up for May 6, though, and with its third different rocket when an Atlas V is slated to launch Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner at 10:34 p.m. from Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 41 with NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Space Station.

The pair arrived to KSC on Thursday to prepare for what will be the first crewed mission of Starliner, which is aiming to join SpaceX’s Crew Dragon as one of two spacecraft under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to provide ferry service to and from the ISS.

©2024 Orlando Sentinel.


Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now