Routine success for Starlink launch
March 4, 2022
By Chris Forrester
A launch by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on March 3rd successfully placed an extra 47 Starlink broadband satellites into orbit.
The SpaceX booster had previously flown ten times (GPS III-3, Turksat-5A, Transporter 2, and seven Starlink missions) so was well ‘flight proven’. The launch took place from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.
SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ droneship, which was waiting downrange in the Atlantic Ocean.
With these extra 47 new satellites, SpaceX will have launched 2,234 Starlink spacecraft to date, including prototypes and older models no longer in service.
Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist who regularly tracks spaceflight activity, estimated SpaceX had 1,945 functioning Starlink satellites in orbit, as of March 3rd. Fifty were launched on February 25th.
SpaceX has scheduled another Starlink launch on a Falcon 9 rocket March 8th, putting the company closer to reaching a goal of deploying roughly 4,400 Starlink satellites to beam its low-latency Internet services around the planet.