With the exception of the delays, SpaceX appears to be about to launch a batch of 60 Starlink satellites and perform a fifth Starship altitude flight test on Tuesday, May 4.
At around 1 a.m. on May 3, SpaceX completed a successful wet dress rehearsal (WDR) and static fire test with a Falcon 9 B1049 amplifier, an upper consumption stage, and the latest stack of Starlink satellites. About eight hours later, as usual, SpaceX confirmed via social media that the test was successful and that its 25th Starlink operational mission was scheduled to launch no earlier than 15:01 EDT (19:01 UTC) in Tuesday, May 4.
At the same time, after several delays, SpaceX also seems about to try the first launch of Starship with “hundreds of improvements”
Starlink-25 will be the second launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 in months – rarely later due to the secret specifics of the constellation’s orbital mechanics. In addition to usually offering a much better launch view, the Starlink-25 launch target of 15:01 EDT means that the Falcon 9 and Starship SN15 can technically launch at exactly the same time in Florida and Texas.
Although it is unlikely that SpaceX will actually allow it really simultaneous startup and unclear whether such a thing is possible even, it is it is possible that SpaceX will launch Starship SN15 at some point in ~ 50 minutes Starlink-25 will quietly land in orbit. However, SpaceX is more likely to use the Starship SN15’s eight-hour window and wait for Starlink-25 to complete, unless some encroaching weather system shrinks that window within a few hours.
This still means that the Starlink-25 and Starship SN15 can launch at a distance of less than six hours, although the experimental rocket prototype is much more likely to suffer small delays and increase this difference to a day or two. In addition, SpaceX itself warns that it “monitors the weather in [Starlink-25] recovery zone ‘, which means that sea conditions can also delay the launch of Starlink for a day or two.
In the end, it seems likely that both missiles will be launched before the end of the week. Keep an eye out to see how much they will actually be “back to back”.