SpaceX Starlink Group 3-1 Launch

SpaceX plans to launch 46 Starlink satellites into Shell 3, with an eventual 560 km circular service orbit at a near-polar 97.66° inclination, on 2022-07-11 at 01:39 UTC (this will be in the evening of July 10th in Western Hemisphere time zones). The launch will be from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The first stage booster, B1063, will be making its sixth flight, having previously launched three Starlink missions and two other payloads.

This is the first Starlink launch into Shell 3, intended to provide service to customers in high latitude locations. This shell is planned to eventually contain 348 satellites in six orbital planes of 58 satellites each. All satellites in Shell 3 are equipped with laser inter-satellite links. The reduced performance of Falcon 9 when launching to polar orbits limits the payload to 46 satellites compared to the 53 in launches to lower inclination orbits.

Here is the pre-flight preview from Everyday Astronaut.


Funky cloud cover. Another bullseye landing.