Update June 11: Livestream for Starlink launch on May 13 at 5:21 a.m. now available.
SpaceX is flexing its rocket-launching muscles in June. Four days after its historic crewed launch on May 30, SpaceX prepared the next Falcon 9 rocket for liftoff on June 3.
If the rest of the month goes as planned, SpaceX will have hit a new company record with four launches in a single month. SpaceX first hit three launches in a single month in June 2017, a launch cadence not seen since January 2020.
SpaceX deployed Starlink satellites for its upcoming global internet service during the first launch of this month. That batch included the first satellite with a solar visor to mitigate reflectivity that obstructs astronomical observations from Earth.
Sixty satellites joined the 420 Starlink satellites already in orbit, bringing the total number of SpaceX Starlink satellites to 480 so far. Starlink will eventually consist of more than 40,000 satellites.
SpaceX will deploy another 118 Starlink satellites over the next two Falcon 9 rocket launches in June.
1 down, 3 to go
Spaceflight Now reports three more SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches on the calendar for June 2020. Dates are subject to change pending favorable weather conditions and other factors.
Friday, June 12Saturday, June 13, 5:21 a.m. ET: Starlink 8 mission with 58 satellites + Earth imaging satellites SkySats 16, 17, and 18 for Planet Wednesday, June 24Monday, June 22: Starlink 9 + Earth observation microsatellites BlackSky Global 5 and 6
- Tuesday, June 30: GPS III SV03 satellite from Lockheed Martin for the US Air Force
If all three launches occur as planned, SpaceX will achieve a record four launches in a single month in a first for the company.
Instantaneous launch windows with a single second clear for Falcon 9 liftoff means scrubbed launches due to weather delays and other factors are common, however, so we’ll have to wait for the end of the month to see how this turns out.
Regardless of what Florida weather has planned for June, the weekly launch cadence planned for this month shows how capable SpaceX and its Falcon 9 rockets are in 2020.
If launch conditions allow, SpaceX will ideally deploy 60 Starlink satellites every two weeks. The number of Starlink satellites deployed per launch will dramatically increase when SpaceX’s next-gen Starship system is ready for liftoff.