SpaceX: Over 3,500 satellites in orbit
October 21, 2022
By Chris Forrester
The October 20th launch of 54 Starlink broadband satellites takes the total number in orbit to more than 3,500 craft. It was mission 4-36 for SpaceX’s Starlink deployments.
SpaceX successfully landed the Falcon 9 booster rocket on the waiting floating barge, A Shortfall of Gravitas, some 650 km downrange for reuse in the future.
The launch represented a series of new records: The 48th Falcon 9 launch of the year; the 10th time this particular booster had been used; the 6th booster to have achieved 10 or more launches; the 64th Starlink launch; the 5th Falcon 9 launch in October; and the 100th SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral.
The next batch of Starlinks will launch early in November and the word is that SpaceX will maintain a launch cadence of at least two per month.
Meanwhile, away from the Starlink missions, SpaceX announced it has won two rocket launch contracts from the European Space Agency. They are both scientific missions and will take place in 2023 and 2024. The contracts come about because of the non-availability of Russia’s Soyuz launchers.