SpaceX Launches 3000th Starlink Satellite

As part of the 54th dedicated Falcon 9 mission for the low Earth orbit (LEO) broadband network, SpaceX has successfully launched its 3000th Starlink satellite.

3000th Starlink Satellite

At 10:14 p.m. EDT (02:14 UTC), the Falcon 9 rocket launched from NASA Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Complex 39A carrying an additional 52 Starlink V1.5 satellites, following the cancellation of a launch attempt three hours earlier due to strong upper-level winds.

The Falcon 9 booster (B1073) that SpaceX assigned to the mission was flying for the third time, just like the fairing halves, both of which had previously supported two orbital-class launches.

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Why Was Falcon 9 Rocket Used?

Falcon 9 mostly functioned as expected. Before separating and returning to Earth, the booster partially expelled the contained payload and an expendable upper stage from the atmosphere. The top stage of the Falcon 9 proved flawless as usual, lifting the Starlink stack the remaining distance into a low, elliptical parking orbit, where it eventually twisted itself around and simultaneously deployed all 52 Starlink satellites.

About nine minutes after liftoff, Falcon 9 booster B1073 safely landed on drone ship A Shortfall Of Gravitas (ASOG) after successfully completing its reentry and landing burns.

The Landing A Success

3000th Starlink Satellite
SpaceX launches 3000th Starlink (Credit – Teslarati)

The landing was successful in the end, although B1073’s accuracy wasn’t precisely perfect, and the booster came to a stop with two of its four legs strangely near to the edge of the deck of the drone ship. The booster could have easily landed with one or two feet off the deck and tipped into the Atlantic if it had missed the bullseye by just 5-10 more feet.

But the landing was successful, and recovering the booster shouldn’t be a problem for SpaceX. Any departure from the norm has become interesting because flawless Starlink launches and near-bullseye landings have become so common and routine. In any other circumstance, it would hardly be worth noting.

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The Launch Of The Spacecraft

It was SpaceX’s 21st Starlink launch in 2022 and the 54th dedicated Starlink launch overall. Starlink 4-26 refers to the 26th batch of Group or Shell 4 satellites. The mission also sent SpaceX’s 3000th Starlink satellite into orbit, a milestone so far apart from the next largest satellite constellation that it is now more appropriate to compare Starlink to every other satellite currently in orbit.

How Many Satellites Have Been Launched Into Orbit?

In orbit now, 2750 of the 3009 Starlink satellites that SpaceX has successfully launched since 2018 are still in place. Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer, and space object tracker calculate that SpaceX has 2714 operational satellites in orbit, assuming the health of all 52 Starlink 4-26 satellites.

Significance Of Starlink

52 Starlink
(Credit – Teslarati)

92.3 percent of the operational Starlink satellites that SpaceX has launched since November 2019 are still functioning in orbit, excluding 75 prototype satellites that were launched over the years, of which all but 5 have subsequently deorbited.

SpaceX has made significant advancements with its V1.5 design, which will start launching in September 2021, despite Starlink V1.0’s 7.7% satellite failure rate being far from ideal.

Only 10 of the 1218 Starlink V1.5 satellites SpaceX has launched have failed and prematurely reentered for technical reasons, for a failure rate of 0.9%, excluding the 38 satellites that were lost when a solar storm caused Earth’s atmosphere to expand, unexpectedly increasing drag to uncontrollable levels.

Sustainability Of The Spacecraft

It will be encouraging for the sustainability and predictability of the present and future Starlink constellations if SpaceX’s V1.5 satellites continue to show good reliability as they approach ages comparable to those of their V1.0 predecessors.

Numerous people’s lives are being made better by the approximately 2270 Starlink satellites that are currently in operation as they continue to provide internet services to thousands of consumers worldwide.


According to Next Spaceflight, SpaceX is resolutely pursuing a record-breaking launch cadence with its Falcon 9 rocket and has up to five additional Starlink missions planned for this month. Next, Starlink 3-3 could take off as early as August 12 from California. According to photographer Ben Cooper, a second East Coast Starlink mission is planning to launch soon after in “mid-August.”

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