SpaceX: Over 2,500 satellites launched
May 16, 2022
By Chris Forrester
It was a busy weekend for Elon Musk’s SpaceX team. On May 13th, a Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 3:07pm Pacific time to add another 53 Starlink satellites to SpaceX’s low Earth orbit communications constellation, bringing the total launched to more than 2,500.
The successful launch took place from Space Launch Complex 4E (SLC-4E) at the west-coast launch site and entered a 53.2-degree orbit. SpaceX wrapped the launch with a perfect landing on its waiting drone barge.
The first-generation Starlink constellation will consist of 4,408 satellites. Before the launch, 2,494 satellites had been launched. However, not all have stayed on orbit. This number includes over 240 that have already been decommissioned, failed after deployment, or rejected during on-orbit testing. The addition of another 53 satellites brings the total launched up to 2,547.
The launch took place as Starlink announced that Greece and Hungary had been added to the countries served by Starlink’s broadband-by-satellite service.
May 14th saw the second launch of the weekend although from Florida. Another 53 satellites were launched at 4.40pm and followed some 8 minutes after launch by a textbook landing on its barge near the Bermuda islands.