What's the gating item for Starlink launch frequency?

Booster refurbishment
7 (21.2%)
Second Stage production
4 (12.1%)
Fairing refurbishment/production
6 (18.2%)
Range availability
2 (6.1%)
Launch Slot availability
1 (3%)
Launch Pad refurbishment
3 (9.1%)
Launch Pad availability (due to other launches, upgrades, etc)
1 (3%)
Drone Ship availability
1 (3%)
Something else (explain in a comment below)
8 (24.2%)

Total Members Voted: 33

Voting closed: 04/05/2020 12:38 pm

Author Topic: Starlink : Launch frequency gating item (poll)  (Read 2761 times)

Offline Arb

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Starlink : Launch frequency gating item (poll)
« on: 03/21/2020 11:38 am »
SpaceX management has stated that Starlink satellite production is faster (6 per day or ~180 per month) than they can launch them (~120 per month, at best).

What, in your opinion, is the likely gating item on Starlink launch frequency? Give your reasoning in a comment below if you wish.

In this context, gating item = primary limit.

Poll will run for two weeks.
« Last Edit: 03/21/2020 07:43 pm by Arb »

Offline laszlo

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Re: Starlink : Launch frequency gating item (poll)
« Reply #1 on: 03/21/2020 11:42 am »
All of the above, plus lack of available workers due to pandemic and associated global recession.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Starlink : Launch frequency gating item (poll)
« Reply #2 on: 03/24/2020 01:37 am »
Poll still open so I voted Coronavirus.
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Offline MaNaeSWolf

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Re: Starlink : Launch frequency gating item (poll)
« Reply #3 on: 03/24/2020 04:38 am »
I think they are building stock for the first cargo orbital starship launch.
So if they keep adding 60 a month, in 6 - 7 months they will have enough starlink satellites for one Starship launch.

So the question is, when will starship send its first cargo up. 1st or second launch?

If this is what they are trying to do, it means the backlog is actually in starlink production by the time they have the second cargo launch.
« Last Edit: 03/24/2020 04:39 am by MaNaeSWolf »

Offline Lar

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Re: Starlink : Launch frequency gating item (poll)
« Reply #4 on: 03/24/2020 05:20 am »
I think losing 2 stages in a row on Starlink means they have fewer stages than they thought they would. So I suspect the gating item is getting the booster production rate back up again. Which will be tough with the virus. (I voted other)
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: Starlink : Launch frequency gating item (poll)
« Reply #5 on: 03/24/2020 05:45 am »
I think it's upper stage mfg.

With routine booster reuse and fairing reuse starting to happen US is the only major section left that's a one shot item.

So you need some of them for payloads with inflexible launch windows and others with pre-agreed schedules that leaves whatever's left. Ideally you want the ones that come off the line that would already be running anyway and whose startup costs are already paid for.

But AFAIK F9 and FH deployment was always the backup plan. What will really bring starlink startup costs down is SH/SS becoming operational.  Every week SX can shorten its development time means a faster, cheaper deployment of starlink. That means moving the day when starlink starts to contribute to SX revenues to the left. IMHO that is the driver for breakneck SH/SS development. Mars in contrast has a launch window every 26 months.
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