Two days before the first launch of Falcon Heavy Block 5, a Florida native caught a separate Falcon amplifier on his way to one of SpaceX's two Cape Canaveral launch pads across the state border.
Soon after, a separate Falcon booster was pursued eastward through Arizona, Louisiana, and Florida, a rare series of rocket charges that ended two months of low visible activity. These Falcon booster arrivals, which are part of a busy spring and early summer manifesto, signify a new influx of rocket hardware as SpaceX prepares for several upcoming missions. From Falcon Heavy Flight 3 to Crew Dragon's critical departure test, SpaceX has no fewer than seven scheduled launches by the end of
Core Spotting – Episode 74
This brings us to another episode of the analysis of the ever-changing SpaceX fleet of Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy. The airborne Block 5 missile lineup now includes either seven or eight flight-proven boosters and perhaps 2-3 non-flown boosters. The new center core, which is thought to be the third launch of Falcon Heavy (B1057), is reportedly already in Florida, while the two proven Falcon Heavy sub-amplifiers (B1052 and B1053) are less than a week later the SpaceX -Hangar Pad 39A were transported her first takeoff and her landing.
From the above fleet, B1047, B1048,
B1050 B1051, B1052 and B1053 are already in the SpaceX facilities in Florida, all of which start from Cape Canaveral, known within the last five months. Following the successful support of Crew Dragon's orbital launch debut in March, B1051 is currently scheduled for the second launch of the SpaceX West Coast this year and is expected to be delivered to California in the coming weeks. B1057, which is considered the next new center of Falcon Heavy, should already prepare for the start in late June in Florida.
This leaves two of the two well-known flight-proven boosters or new Falcon boosters as the likely suspects who were captured on April and April 17 in a duo of April Core scouts. SpaceX has two airworthy Falcon 9-Block 5 Boosters – B1047 and B1048 – at its Florida locations. So it is not out of the question that both stain cores are new. It could also be B1046 and B1049, both of which recently completed the launch of SpaceX's Vandenberg pad and were refurbished in California. SpaceX's West Coast manifest could only be launched twice for the remainder of 2019, which means that there is no practical reason to keep unallocated boosters nearby.
Meanwhile SpaceX plans to start operating the Starlink constellation in mid-May, and more than one is planned for 2019. The start-hungry company will need as many Falcon 9 boosters as it can. the happier On its way to Q3 in 2019, SpaceX needs a crewed Crew Dragon (DM-2), a new Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, for the first time in 2019 and should not be scheduled before (NET) October. One of the cores discovered last week may be this rocket, which arrives early due to the gravity of DM-2 and the need to double, quadruple, and quadruple the hardware to ensure mission success.
At the end of the day, the most likely explanation is that one of the boosters is being rediscovered while one is the B1046 or B1049. This is supported by the fact that the second instance happened to be tracked throughout their journey, with fans in California, Tuscon, Louisiana and Florida getting glimpses between April 12 and April 17. SpaceX-Static fires all non-flown boosters in McGregor, Texas, before being delivered to a launch site. This procedure usually takes at least two weeks from arrival to departure. The booster, which was spotted in Florida on April 8, does not seem to have been discovered by the same unofficial network of SpaceX fans.
Finally, there is a chance that one of these amps will be a new Falcon 9, which will be assigned to SpaceX's next Cargo Dragon mission for the International Space Station. The launch of CRS-17 is scheduled for April 26, so the booster will arrive just two weeks before the static fire test.
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