Jul 28, 2021 1 min, 22 secs

After going through the month of July with no launches, SpaceX is scheduled to resume missions in August with Falcon 9 rocket flights from California and Florida to begin deploying Starlink internet satellites into new orbits.

Another Falcon 9 launch is scheduled to carry a batch of Starlink satellites into orbit in mid-August.

Since then, SpaceX has activated hundreds of internet spacecraft delivered to orbit on previous Falcon 9 missions, raising the number of operational Starlink craft from roughly 950 satellites to more than 1,300, according to an analysis by Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a widely-respected tracker of spaceflight activity.

More than 200 additional Starlink satellites are drifting into their operational positions in orbit 341 miles (550 kilometers) above Earth at an inclination of 53 degrees to the equator.

The early phases of SpaceX’s Starlink network involves the launch of 4,408 satellites into five orbital shells, or layers, in low Earth orbit.

A SpaceX application with the FCC associated with launch vehicle telemetry links for the Starlink launch from Vandenberg suggests the company’s booster landing platform, or drone ship, will be positioned in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.

A similar FCC application for a Starlink launch next month from Cape Canaveral shows a SpaceX drone ship will be parked in the Atlantic Ocean in line with a rocket trajectory heading for an inclination of 53.2 degrees.

SpaceX is expected to launch an average of one Starlink mission per month from Vandenberg over the next year, and there will be a regular cadence of Starlink flights from Cape Canaveral, too.

SpaceX launched 10 Starlink satellites into a 97.6-degree polar orbit on a rideshare mission in January.


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