SpaceX expects to roll out 24 Starlink missions next year as the firm develops out a broadband megaconstellation that might eventually number near to 12,000 satellites, an executive of the company claimed to the media.
The launch cadence of SpaceX’s Starlink will probably average “two a month,” apart from customer launches, claimed SpaceX’s chief operating officer and president, Gwynne Shotwell, to the media. “In 2020, I expect we blast off 24 Starlinks,” Shotwell claimed.
Shotwell claimed that SpaceX might blast more Starlink missions in 2019, but the last number will rely on user missions. SpaceX will prioritize transporting their users before its own broadband satellites, she claimed.
“If some users move out, I will have some Starlink launches but we will not force a user out for that, so we will hang around and see what the year-end seems like.”
Shotwell did not detail if Starlink missions will be only performed on Falcon 9s or if they will also comprise launches of Falcon Heavy.
After inducing launch postponements for users owing to failures of Falcon 9 rocket in 2015 and 2016 SpaceX is now grappling with late missions, so much so that spacecrafts are all set before customer satellites, Shotwell claimed.
On a related note, Boeing joined the increasing list of makers providing geostationary orbit-based smaller satellites, claiming new digital payload tech can lower the weight of its traditional communications rocket by 50%.
The small GEO satellites by Boeing will weigh almost 1,900 kgs unfueled, depending on software-defined, reprogrammable payloads that are significantly smaller as camped to earlier techs, claimed vice president at Boeing for global commercial satellite sales, Eric Jensen, to the media.
Jensen claimed that the firm developed its small GEO device as a fixture for operators unwilling to spend in multi-ton, traditional comsats in the middle of the introduction of megaconstellations and altering market conditions.