SpaceX sends Starlink satellites, Boeing demonstrator into orbit on 40th launch of 2022

SpaceX has completed its 40th Falcon 9 launch of 2022, delivering a new batch of Starlink satellites and Boeing demonstration satellite into orbit.

Also on board with Starlink Group 4-20 was Sherpa-LTC2, a space tug provided by Seattle-based company Spaceflight. The tug is carrying a payload for Boeing’s Varuna Technology Demonstration Mission (Varuna-TDM), which “aims to test V-band communications for a proposed constellation of 147 non-geostationary broadband satellites,” according to SpaceNews(opens in new tab).

Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, used as the launch pad for the Falcon 9 rocket that placed 51 Starlink satellites and Spaceflight’s Sherpa-LTC into orbit.

“Deployment of 51 Starlink satellites confirmed, completing SpaceX’s 40th mission so far this year! Deployment of Spaceflight’s Sherpa-LTC confirmed,” the company said in a tweet.

As part of Boeing’s Varuna Technology Demonstration Mission, the Sherpa-LTC orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) is carrying a Spaceflight customer payload that will test V-band communications for a future constellation of 147 non-geostationary broadband satellites.

Elon Musk

Last week, Musk said SpaceX is launching Starlink satellites nearly every five days now and plans to launch 100 orbital missions in 2023.

According to Musk, SpaceX is now carrying out rocket launches roughly every five days which would help the company easily achieve its target.

SpaceX has already broken its own record for the most annual launches (31) and is now aiming to double the number.

Late last month, SpaceX launched 54 more of its Starlink broadband satellites in orbit and landed a rocket on a ship at sea.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Group has become the first in the global cruise industry to adopt SpaceX Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency Internet services for a better onboard experience for guests and crew.

SpaceX has continued its frenetic pace of Falcon 9 launches including a couple of Starlink missions that took flight: one right before midnight last weekend on Aug. 27, about 32 hours before NASA called off its first Artemis I attempt; and then again Sunday night about 32 hours after NASA was aiming for its second try to send up its Space Launch System rocket with the Orion capsule to the moon.

So while NASA may eventually have to roll back the Artemis I hardware capable of 8.8 million pounds of thrust on liftoff to the Vehicle Assembly Building, SpaceX keeps sending up its 1.7 million pounds of thrust servings. 

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