Author Topic: SpaceX to launch the 3,500th Starlink satellite  (Read 290 times)

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SpaceX to launch the 3,500th Starlink satellite
« on: October 20, 2022, 01:29:47 pm »
NASA Spaceflight by Alejandro Alcantarilla Romera October 20, 2022

SpaceX is gearing up to launch another batch of Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO) on Thursday. Liftoff is scheduled to occur at 10:50 AM EDT (14:50 UTC) on Oct. 20 from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

This mission–known as Group 4-36–will see Falcon 9 loft 54 Starlink satellites to the fourth shell of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, bringing the total number of Starlink satellites launched to over 3,500.

Falcon 9’s first stage for this mission, B1062, will be flying for the 10th time after previously supporting the launch of two GPS-III satellites, two private Crew Dragon missions, the launch of the Nilesat 301 geostationary satellite, as well as four prior Starlink missions. This will put 1062 as the sixth booster in the fleet to reach SpaceX’s initial goal of flying the first stages 10 times with minimal refurbishment between flights.

SpaceX’s launch on Thursday will be the 63rd launch dedicated to Starlink and the company’s fifth launch of the month. Another Starlink mission from the Cape was previously scheduled to launch next week; however, this was delayed into November to prioritize maintenance work at the launch pad, as well as to ensure schedule priority for commercial customers.

SpaceX’s next mission from Florida will therefore be the long-awaited launch of the USSF-44 mission onboard a Falcon Heavy rocket, currently scheduled for no earlier than Oct. 31. Work has been underway at Launch Complex 39A for the past two weeks to prepare the ground systems for the fourth launch of the world’s most powerful operational rocket.