An additional 60 ‘Starlink’ satellites are due for launch on January 6th, a few days later than originally planned date of December 30th.
These 60 will join another 130 or so already in orbit and form another link in Elon Musk’s plan to circle the planet with broadband capacity from his satellites. The “or so” statement is because 9 of the previously launch satellites (Test craft version 0.9) are reportedly having their orbits lowered in order to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up over the next few months.
This third batch will mean that Starlink will then have around 150-170 fully operational satellites orbiting. Musk wants a total of 1500 in his first-stage mega-constellation scheme.
SpaceX is planning two other Starlink launches this month – weather permitting – and up to 38 launches this year and thus getting ready to provide service introductions later this year.
SpaceX’s landing vessel, ‘Of Course I Still Love You’, was spotted by Max Kalika on board a cruise ship on December 30th being moved down range in readiness for the landing of the launch rocket.