SpaceX readies 26th Starlink launch
May 4, 2021
By Chris Forrester
SpaceX is expected to launch its next batch of Starlink satellites today (May 4th). This will be the 26th Starlink launch and is subject to the usual weather and technical considerations. The launch is scheduled for 14.30 Florida time.
This extra batch will take the overall total of working Starlink satellites to 1494, and ever-closer to an initial target of 1584 satellites in the company’s Phase 1 (72 orbits of 22 in each orbit) and the core elements of a global service.
The constellation does not stop at 1584 satellites. Another series of orbits will see a second series of multiple launches add another 1584 satellites.
This summer (perhaps as early as July) Starlink will start adding craft with lasers fitted. These will be launched into polar orbits and added to the 10 debut polar satellites launched in January. These 338 will be launched from SpaceX’s Vandenberg Air Force Base facility.