SpaceX is making record progress towards its goal of one hundred launches this year. Last Friday at 11:35 a.m. ET, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 brought 56 Starlink v1.5 satellites to lower Earth orbit from the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, the 44th launch of 2023. Out of these missions, Starlink satellites have been carried on twenty-two launches.
Falcon 9’s first stage booster was the eighth launch and landing, successfully completing the launches of CRS-24, Eutelsat HOTBIRD 13F, OneWeb 1, SES-18, and SES-19 in addition to four Starlink missions.
As reported by Nasa Space Flight, SpaceX has scheduled over 50 missions for the next half of the year. Friday’s Starlink Group 5-12 mission also “broke the record turnaround time for launches from SLC-40 – a record that SpaceX has broken several times in the last year.”
The company’s first launch ever was on December 9th, 2010. Since then, SpaceX has completed 242 total launches, 203 total landings, and 176 total reflights. Now, 4,698 Starlink satellites have been deployed, creating the largest satellite constellation ever.
The constellations are designed to bring high-speed, low-latency service around the world. The satellites orbit around 550 km and are much closer than other satellites, which orbit at approximately 35,786 km. This significantly improves speeds by decreasing average round-trip data times.
Of the total number of Starlink satellites launched, 3,688 satellites are in “their operational orbit” while another 590 are still moving to “operational orbit.” Ninety satellites have become non-responsive or have already started deorbiting.
There are two more Starlink v1.5 satellites scheduled to launch in July. After those missions are completed, Starlink will begin to deploy Starlink v2 Mini satellites until larger models are ready for launch.
Check back with Cord Cutters News as more launches are announced.