Why SpaceX have only one planned potential launch of F9 on their July manifest. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches It show only one potential F9 launch from Vandenberg.

They planned to have 48 launches this year with cadence of 4 F9 or FH launches per month. Is there some specific reason for it. For example bad weather in CC or Vandenberg. Problems with refurbishing of used boosters. Problems with manufacturing Starlinks or delivering other commercial or government payloads.


2 Answers 2


July is when the range takes a two week closure to maintain and upgrade the equipment. Radar, tracking cameras, software and so on.

This cut July down to two usable weeks. Until mid-July only JRTI was available, and ASOG had yet to be delivered.

The last launch was Jun 30th I think, and they need a few days to recycle an ASDS and send it back out.

I cannot answer why they did not try to shove any launches in before or after the closure but seems like July is a slow one.

  • $\begingroup$ What about Vandenberg, is it also closed for 2 weeks in July. They planned to have 10 launches from SLC-4E including first polar Starlinks, but so far didn't launch any. Must they waited for SLC-4E to be redesign in some way for polar Starlinks or higher launch cadence or they simply didn't have payloads so far for Vandenberg launches. $\endgroup$
    – David Cage
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 11:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Droneship isn't ready to catch the boosters launched from Vanderberg yet. teslarati.com/… $\endgroup$
    – Naktibalda
    Commented Jul 21, 2021 at 11:14

Starlink launches aren't like other satellite launches. The current plans call for a constellation of around 10,000 satellites to be launched in the next six years at a minimum cadence of 33 launches a year. To achieve that rate, SpaceX is taking an "assembly line" approach to the entire launch process.

SpaceX completed their first shell of Starlink satellites (550 km altitude, 53° inclination) with their May 26 launch. The next shell is a set of 720 satellites in 70° orbits, for which Vandenberg is a better launch site. The current pause is needed to let SpaceX move their "rocket launch factory" across the country.

If you subtract out the Starlink launches, SpaceX has been maintaining a cadence of about one launch a month. At that rate, going a month without a launch is nothing unusual.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.