SpaceX is looking to set a strong pace for launches in 2022 as its third Falcon 9 mission of the month is scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral in Florida Monday evening.
This will be the second Starlink mission of the year, with 49 of the company’s low-earth orbit flying broadband routers ready to be deployed about 15 minutes after blast-off.
This mission will put the total number of Starlinks launched, including the earliest versions to make it to orbit, at over 2,000 for the first time, according to data kept by astronomer Jonathan McDowell.
However, a number of those satellites have been de-orbited or aren’t currently active, as Elon Musk recently pointed out on Twitter.
This latest batch of satellites includes laser links that will allow the Starlinks to communicate in orbit and reduce the need for numerous, costly ground stations.
The Falcon 9 booster that will do the lofting is making its tenth flight, having previously launched a GPS satellite, a Turkish communications satellite, a smallsat rideshare and six other Starlink missions.
The rocket will land on the droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas stationed in the Atlantic ocean less than 10 minutes after launch. The nose cone for this mission is also recycled from previous Starlink missions.
As usual, SpaceX will livestream the whole thing starting about 15 minutes before liftoff at 4:26 p.m. PT and you can watch via the feed below.