Elon Musk-run SpaceX on Monday said it has successfully deployed 51 more Starlink satellites in space, completing its 40th mission so far this year.
The Falcon 9 rocket launched 51 Starlink satellites and Spaceflight’s Sherpa-LTC to orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, the US.
“Deployment of 51 Starlink satellites confirmed, completing SpaceX’s 40th mission so far this year! Deployment of Spaceflighta¿s Sherpa-LTC confirmed,” the company said in a tweet.
The Sherpa-LTC orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) carries a Spaceflight’s customer payload ( part of Boeing’s Varuna Technology Demonstration Mission) that aims to test V-band communications for a future constellation of 147 non-geostationary broadband satellites.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 will drop off Sherpa-LTC at a 310-kilometer altitude above Earth. Then, the Sherpa-LTC will use its onboard high-thrust propulsion system to maneuver to its designated 1,000-kilometer circular orbit where it will be tested for 2 years.
Last week, Musk said SpaceX is launching Starlink satellites nearly every five days now and plans to launch 100 orbital missions in 2023.
According to Musk, SpaceX is now carrying out rocket launches roughly every five days which would help the company easily achieve its target.
SpaceX has already broken its own record for the most annual launches (31) and is now aiming to double the number.
Late last month, SpaceX launched 54 more of its Starlink broadband satellites in orbit and landed a rocket on a ship at sea.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Group has become the first in the global cruise industry to adopt SpaceX Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency Internet services for a better onboard experience for guests and crew.
The broadband internet service will be installed on all Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises ships, along with all new vessels for each of the brands.
The installation is slated to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2023.