SpaceX Orbits 53 Starlink Satellites in 21st Falcon 9 Launch of 2022

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites to low-Earth orbit aboard a Falcon 9 booster on Wednesday, May 18, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The first stage booster supporting the mission on Wednesday previously launched Arabsat-6A, STP-2, COSMO-SkyMed Second Generation FM2, and one Starlink mission. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

It was SpaceX’s 14th launch of Starlink satellites this year, and the company’s 21st launch overall of 2022. SpaceX has launched 709 of the broadband satellites this year, and 2,653 Starlink spacecraft in all. Wikipedia reports that 2,354 satellites are currently functioning in orbit.

SpaceX has launched 860 payloads into orbit in its 21 launches. The total includes two rideshare missions with 145 small payloads, two Crew Dragon flights carrying eight astronauts to the International Space Station, two missions for the National Reconnaissance Office, and the launch of Italy’s military/civilian COSMO-SkyMed second generation Earth observation satellite.

SpaceX has said it is planning to launch more than 50 times this year. The company’s next flight is the May 25 launch of the Transporter-5 rideshare mission from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

ULA Names Chris Ellerhorst Vice President, Kuiper Program

Chris Ellerhorst (Credit: ULA)

ULA Establishes New Program Office to Support Amazon Commercial Launches

CENTENNIAL, Colo., May 16, 2022 (ULA PR) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced today it is establishing a new customer program office to support Amazon’s Kuiper Program and named Chris Ellerhorst vice president.

“Following the contract announcement that ULA will be launching the majority of Amazon’s Kuiper constellation on nine Atlas and 38 Vulcan launch vehicles, we are standing up a new program office to support this customer,” said Tory Bruno, ULA’s president and CEO. “Chris’ extensive knowledge of customer requirements, his commitment to ensuring mission success as well as his unwavering dedication to serving the customer’s needs make him the perfect person to lead this new program office.”

“I am truly honored to lead ULA’s new program office for Project Kuiper,” said Ellerhorst. “Amazon is an important customer with an exciting and meaningful mission, and I look forward to bringing ULA’s unmatched launch service capabilities, industry-leading mission operations and assurance to this program – delivered by the most experienced workforce in the industry.”

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SpaceX Launches 106 Starlink Satellites with Launches from California, Florida

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on May 14, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX launched 106 Starlink broadband satellites in a pair of launches conducted less than 24 hours apart from launch complexes in California and Florida.

On Friday, May 13, a Falcon 9 launched 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The first stage booster, which landed on an offshore drone ship, previously launched Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, DART, and two Starlink missions.

On Saturday, Falcon 9 launched 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The flight involved the rare launch of a new Falcon 9 rocket. The first stage landed on an off-shore drone ship.

SpaceX has launched 2,600 Starlink satellites, which provide low-latency broadband service around the globe. Starlink is now available in 32 countries.

SpaceX Launches 53 Starlink Satellites

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Friday, May 6 at 5:42 a.m. ET, SpaceX launched 53 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This was the 12th flight for the Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched Crew Demo-2, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, Transporter-3, and now seven Starlink missions.

SpaceX to Launch 53 Starlink Satellites Today

Falcon 9 lifts off with Starlink satellites. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

SpaceX is targeting Friday, April 29 for a Falcon 9 launch of 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous launch window is at 5:27 p.m. ET, or 21:27 UTC, and a backup opportunity is available on Saturday, April 30 at 5:05 p.m. ET, or 21:05 UTC.

The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, one Starlink mission, and most recently the Ax-1 mission on April 8, 2022. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth and land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

A live webcast of this mission will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff.

Hawaiian Airlines to Offer Free, High-Speed Starlink Internet Connectivity on Transpacific Fleet

Credit: Hawaii Airlines

HONOLULU (Hawaiian Airlines PR) – Hawaiian Airlines today became the first major airline to announce an agreement with Starlink to provide complimentary high-speed, low-latency broadband internet access to every guest onboard flights between the islands and the continental U.S, Asia and Oceania. Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier will equip its Airbus A330 and A321neo aircraft, as well as an incoming fleet of Boeing 787-9s, with Starlink’s industry leading satellite internet connectivity service.

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SpaceX’s Ability to Thwart Russian Jamming of Starlink Called “Eye Watering”

Starlink Premium antenna. (Credit: SpaceX)

Popular Mechanics reports that the Pentagon is studying how SpaceX was able to quickly thwart attempts to jam Starlink satellite broadband receivers the company sent to Ukraine to help the nation defend itself against a Russian invasion.

The U.S. Department of Defense is casting envious eyes on Elon Musk’s SpaceX after the aerospace company swiftly responded to an “electronic warfare attack” in Ukraine last month. SpaceX donated Starlink terminals to Ukraine to help the country stay connected in wartime, but Russian signal-jamming attempted to thwart those plans. The notoriously bureaucratic Pentagon says it’s a model for responding to threats that it can’t currently match—but desperately needs to…..

According to SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk, some Starlink terminals near the front line in Ukraine were experiencing jamming, presumably from Russian military electronic warfare units. Musk later tweeted that the company quickly “reprioritized to cyber defense & overcoming signal jamming,” and issued a fix within a day, broadcast to all Starlink terminals. The fix reportedly involved changing a single line of software code.

A one-day turnaround for software fixes is par for the course for commercial businesses, especially startups, but not for the government. Dave Tremper, director of electronic warfare for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told attendees at an industry conference that SpaceX’s handling of Russian jamming in Ukraine was “eye-watering.”

SpaceX has sent 5,000 Starlink terminals to Ukraine, including 3,667 donated by SpaceX and 1,333 purchased by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

JSX Air Adopts SpaceX Starlink Service

JSX Air describes itself as a “hop on jet service” that offers point-to-point flights to 17 destinations within Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New York and Texas. The airline flies 23 Embraer ERJ-145 and ERJ-135 aircraft with 30 passenger seats. The company was founded as JetSuiteX in 2016. JetBlue and Qatar Airways are minority shareholders in the airline.

SpaceX Launches 53 Starlink Satellites, Falcon 9 First Stage Flies Record 12th Time

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites while the Dragon that will carry Crew-4 to the International space Station awaits its turn. (Credit: SpaceX)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Thursday, April 21 at 1:51 p.m. ET, Falcon 9 launched 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

This was the 12th flight for the Falcon 9 first stage booster supporting this mission, which previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and now nine Starlink missions.

OneWeb Agrees to Satellite Launch Programme with New Space India

Historic contract includes launches of OneWeb satellites from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, with the first anticipated for later in 2022. OneWeb remains on track for developing its satellite constellation network, delivering industry-grade secure connectivity.

LONDON, 20 April 2022 (OneWeb PR) – OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, announced today that the company and New Space India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation, have entered into an agreement that will help ensure OneWeb completes its satellite launch programme. 

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SpaceX Set to Launch 53 Starlink Satellites on Thursday

Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Thursday, April 21 for a Falcon 9 launch of 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous launch window is at 11:14 a.m. ET, or 15:14 UTC, and a backup opportunity is available on Friday, April 22.

The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and eight Starlink missions. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth and land on the Just Read the Instructions droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. 

Kymeta to Offer Mission-Critical LEO Satellite Connectivity Services to Government Market Through New Partnership with OneWeb Technologies

REDMOND, Wash. & HOUSTON (Kymeta PR) — Kymeta (kymetacorp.com), a world leading company for flat panel antennas making mobile global, and OneWeb Technologies (onewebtechnologies.net), the premier provider of innovative and secure commercial satellite communications application solutions, announced today an agreement to distribute reliable, secure, and cost-effective broadband connectivity services to the U.S. government.

The new managed satellite service offering enables Kymeta to provide government customers with hardware solutions that are packaged with secure and resilient network access from OneWeb Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company OneWeb. Access to broadband connectivity services from the leading satellite connectivity platform will provide customers with an additional mission-critical connectivity resource, supplementing Kymeta’s existing broadband geostationary orbit (GEO) and 4G cellular service offering.

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Hughes Announces Distribution Agreement with OneWeb Technologies

Turnkey managed LEO services available now to DoD for single- and multi-transport SATCOM implementations worldwide

Pictured, left to right: Rick Lober, Vice President & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes; Tim Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies; Ian Canning, Chief Operating Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Steve Perreault, Chief Financial Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Jeff Lessner, Vice President, Hughes; Leslie Blaker-Glass, Vice President, Hughes
Pictured, left to right: Rick Lober, Vice President & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes; Tim Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies; Ian Canning, Chief Operating Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Steve Perreault, Chief Financial Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Jeff Lessner, Vice President, Hughes; Leslie Blaker-Glass, Vice President, Hughes (Image Credit: Hughes Network Systems, LLC)

GERMANTOWN, Md. (Hughes Network Systems PR) — Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, today announced it signed a distribution agreement with OneWeb Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of OneWeb, to deliver managed Low Earth Orbit (LEO) services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The agreement follows the launch of the industry’s first managed LEO satellite communications (SATCOM) network for the DoD, an implementation led by Hughes in the Arctic region for the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).

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Amazon Selects Blue Origin’s New Glenn for up to 27 Project Kuiper Constellation Launches

New Glenn on the launch pad. (Credit: Blue Origin)

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin today announced New Glenn has been selected for 12 launches, with options for up to 15 additional launches to deploy Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite constellation. Project Kuiper’s constellation of 3,236 advanced satellites aims to deliver high-speed, low-latency broadband service globally. The launches are manifested for a five-year period from Launch Complex 36 (LC-36) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, which Blue Origin has rebuilt from the ground up.  

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Arianespace Signs Unprecedented Contract with Amazon for 18 Ariane 6 Launches to Deploy Project Kuiper Constellation

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced an unprecedented launch service contract during the International Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, USA, on April 5. Under the terms of the contract, Arianespace will perform 18 Ariane 6 launches for Amazon’s Project Kuiper over a period of three years from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. Among the 18 launches planned for the deployment of the Project Kuiper, 16 will be carried out with an advanced version of the Ariane 64.

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