DECEMBER 11 (UPI) — U.S. SPACE EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGY COMPANY SPACEX ANNOUNCED TUESDAY THAT IT WILL LAUNCH A THIRD BATCH OF 60 STARLINK SATELLITES IN TWO WEEKS, FOREIGN MEDIA REPORTED. SpaceX launched its first 60 Starlink satellites in May, but they are v0.9 prototypes.
The company launched its first final 60 v1.0 satellites in November, and the second final v1.0 satellite in the next two weeks, the third time it has specifically launched the Starlink satellite.
SpaceX also said it would launch starlink again in January 2020 after the launch was completed in late December. The company hopes to launch as many as 24 Starlink missions by 2020, a feat that will break SpaceX’s current record of 21 launches a year.
Based on such launch frequencies, the company could launch more than 1,000 Starlink satellites over the next 12 months.
If the current schedule remains the same, it will also be SpaceX’s last launch in 2019. The launch will make SpaceX the world’s largest satellite operator.
It’s worth noting that if these timetables remain the same, SpaceX will be able to go from being the world’s largest satellite network operator in just nine months, and far ahead of the curve.
As early as the launch of 60 Starlink v0.9 prototype satellites, SpaceX and its executives claimed that its launch costs had been significantly reduced. Elon Musk, the company’s chief executive, and Gwynne Shotwell, chief operating officer, said the cost of producing and launching each satellite was well below $500,000. This means that the internal cost of each Launch of 60 Starlink satellites by the Falcon 9 rocket could be reduced to $30 million, of which production and launch costs could be $15 million, respectively. (Small)