SpaceX Starlink Group 3-2 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 2022-07-21 at 17:39 UTC. The launch will be from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The first stage booster, B1071, will be making its fourth flight, after a turnaround time (assuming on-time launch) of 33.14 days after its last mission.

This is the second 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.


Today’s launch attempt was scrubbed at 46 seconds before liftoff for reasons so far not specified. The launch has been rescheduled for the backup opportunity tomorrow, 2022-07-22 at 17:39 UTC (same Bat-time, same Bat-launchpad). Here is the Web stream for that launch.


Bull’s ear, Catnip!


I could watch Falcon-9 landing on barges all day long with the same sense of wonderment every time!

Also, watching 2K video telemetry from stage 2 while it’s flying at 20,000+ km/h is just out of this world :wink: