SpaceX launched 49 Starlink satellites into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 on Thursday, marking the start of the 2022 orbital launch campaign. The booster lifted off at 4:49 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
SpaceX has now launched 1,944 satellites into orbit for its broadband satellite network, with 1,764 currently working. Elon Musk’s company has received approval to launch just under 12,000 Starlink satellites from the Federal Communications Commission. It has an application to launch 30,000 additional satellites to bring the constellation to nearly 42,000 spacecraft.
It was the fourth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched GPS III-4, GPS III-5, and Inspiration4.