By when will a second Starship / Super Heavy launch tower be operational?
➕
Plus
11
16k
2025
2%
2024-09-01
59%
Flight 7
69%
2025-01-01
89%
2025-07-01

Operational will mean that a launch has happened from the tower (full stack or just booster or ship by itself), or a catch (of either booster or ship) has been attempted. "Attempted" will mean that it was announced as the plan for the flight and the flight launched, even if the flight was not successful or the catch was aborted.

All dates are "on or before".

Current plans are that this launch tower will also be at Starbase, however that is not required. An operational tower at Cape Canaveral or elsewhere would also count.

Related question with different criteria:
/Blomfilter/will-starbase-mount-a-starship-on-a

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Hopefully this is obvious from the description, but in case not:

The tower needs to either (attempt to) catch or launch something (or both). If it's functional as a catch tower, but incapable of supporting a launch, that will still count for this question (despite it being called a "launch" tower in the title). Description text takes precedent over title.

Flight 7

@EvanDaniel As with the dates, this is "on or before". If the second tower launches or catches flight #7, this resolves Yes. "Flight" meaning orbital(ish) flight, aka IFT-7 or whatever they're calling it by then. Hops and such presumably don't count towards the number, but might count towards the tower being operational.

If the first one is destroyed before a 2nd is fully operational, does it count as a "2nd" one? (What if it is re-built in the same spot)

@percentage Excellent question, which I should have thought about and addressed when writing this. Thank you. I think both versions are interesting questions.

If "no", it gets hard to judge what counts as having two operational at the same time if there are questions about repairs and checkouts. "Used in a launch or landing" is a very easy and clear metric, but what if only one gets used in a given launch and the other has recently finished construction or repairs?

If "yes", then it's a little complicated by the difference between a new tower on the old site and a repair to the old tower.

I think the version that's clearest to judge and most separate from other questions is "when is a tower that isn't the current one functional". Or "when is the second tower functional, regardless of the state of the current one". There are already questions about potential damage to the existing tower (/Heaffey/will-the-first-attempt-to-catch-a-s ). So looking only at other towers and not the existing one will make this question (hopefully) a little easier (just forecasting a construction project).

So we'll go with that version: "second" means a new tower, not at the current site (so not a rebuild or repair of the existing tower).