SpaceX has successfully launched six Falcon 9 over a 17 day period. SpaceX has launched 33 missions in 2022 and is almost on pace for nearly 60 Falcon 9 launches this year. This would nearly double the 31 Falcon 9 flights accomplished in 2021.
If SpaceX could sustain a launch rate of one every three days then they could launch 120 times in a year.
SpaceX has launched 2,957 Starlink satellites after Sunday’s mission. About 2,701 Starlink satellites are currently in orbit and operational.
Sunday was the 20th Falcon 9 mission of the year dedicated to deploying satellites for the Starlink network. SpaceX has now launched 1,013 Starlink satellites since the beginning of January.
There were about 4,852 active satellites orbiting the Earth on January 1, 2022. 2,944 belong to the United States. China had 499 satellites at the start of this year. There are now nearly 6000 satellites and SpaceX makes up about half of the satellites.
SpaceX’s next Falcon 9 launch is scheduled for Aug. 2 from Cape Canaveral with the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter, South Korea’s first space exploration mission. The Korean spacecraft will orbit the moon with a suite of cameras and science instrument from Korean research institutions and NASA.
Two more Starlink missions are scheduled for first half of August (a Florida and a California launch).
Six launches per month for the last five months of the year would enable SpaceX to get to 63 launches for 22. Eight launches per month for 2023 would be 96 launches. If 70 of about 96 launches were for Starlink, then about 4000 Starlink satellites could be launched in 2023.
SpaceX could finish with 3700-3800 Starlink satellites in orbit by the end of 2022 and and the 4400 phase 1 of Starlink complete by the end of April 2023.
SpaceX could finish 2023 with about 7700-8000 Starlink satellites in orbit. This would be about three times as much as today. SpaceX would be able to service about 20 million Starlink users around the world in 2023.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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