With lower than seven months to go till 2022, SpaceX has damaged its annual launch file, capping off its busiest July ever with Falcon 9 Starlink launches.
The corporate accomplished six launches this month, 5 of which have been Starlink missions. The final two missions have been launched 44 hours other than reverse coasts of the USA – Starlink 3-2 from Vandenberg House Power Base (VSFB) in California on July 22 and Starlink 4-25 from Kennedy House Middle (KSC) in Florida on July 24. Each the Falcon 9 fairing and boosters have been reused, as is now the norm. Each boosters landed with out concern, extending SpaceX’s file for consecutive profitable landings to 59.
The B1071 booster from the West Coast helped launch 46 Starlink V1.5 satellites right into a sun-synchronous (semi-polar) orbit. On the East Coast, Falcon B1062 launched one other 53 Starlink V1.5 satellites into equatorial orbit for the third Starlink mission in complete.
All advised, SpaceX managed to launch 5 batches of Starlink satellites and Cargo Dragon spacecraft to the Worldwide House Station between July 7 and July 24 – six Falcon 9 launches in 17 days. It is the third time SpaceX has accomplished six launches in a single calendar month, however the first time the corporate has accomplished six launches in lower than three weeks. It is a testomony to SpaceX’s excellence that the Falcon 9 launch cadence has develop into routine so shortly, as just one different rocket (the Soviet Soyuz-U) within the 65-year historical past of orbital spaceflight can nonetheless be. They declare to have launched it in such a brief time frame.
In reality, as beforehand reported, SpaceX itself feels that six launches in a calendar month are regular. Managed by the corporate eight Falcon 9 efficiently launched in 30 days from June 17 to July 17 – simply wanting Soyuz-U, which accomplished eight launches in 1980 in lower than 28 days.
What SpaceX can confidently declare is that it has constantly launched extra satellites in a shorter time frame than every other nation, company or firm in historical past. In July, SpaceX launched 251 Starlink satellites, increasing its large constellation by ~10%. SpaceX accomplished 5 Starlink missions in lower than 30 days twice, in Could 2021 and 2022, breaking the earlier file of 292 Starlink satellites. Together with non-Starlink payloads, SpaceX has technically launched 323 satellites in 27 days.
In keeping with Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist who independently displays SpaceX satellites, there at the moment are 2,665 operational Starlink satellites in orbit, of which 2,155 have reached operational orbit. The 451 Starlink V1.5 satellites – all launched since April 2022 – are nonetheless within the means of elevating their orbits and ought to be prepared to affix the operational constellation in just a few weeks to 3 months.
Lastly, Starlink 3-2 (July 22) was SpaceX’s thirty second launch of 2022, breaking its annual file of 31 launches (set for 2021) simply 55% of the best way to the brand new yr. Every Falcon launch between now and early 2023 will set a brand new SpaceX file, 33 behind Starlink 4-25. An organization reported There are seven Falcon 9 launches scheduled for August 2022.