US space exploration technology company SpaceX announced that it would launch a third batch of 60 Starlink satellites in two weeks.
SpaceX launched the first 60 Starlink satellites in May this year, but they are v0.9 prototype satellites. The company launched the final finalized 60 v1.0 satellites for the first time in November, and will launch the final finalized v1.0 satellites for the second time in the next two weeks.
SpaceX also said that the company will launch the Starlink satellite again in January 2020 after the launch mission is completed in late December. The company hopes to launch up to 24 Starlink missions in 2020, a feat that would break SpaceX’s current record of 21 launches in a single year.
Based on such a launch frequency, the company may launch more than 1,000 Starlink satellites in the next 12 months.
If the current timetable remains the same, this will also be SpaceX’s last launch in 2019. The launch will make SpaceX the world’s largest satellite operator.
It is worth noting that if these timetables remain the same, SpaceX will change from only two satellites in orbit to the world’s largest satellite network operator in just 9 months, and it will be in a leading position.
As early as the launch of 60 Starlink v0.9 prototype satellites, SpaceX and its executives claimed that their launch costs had been greatly reduced. The company’s chief executive Elon Musk and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said the cost of producing and launching each satellite was well below $ 500,000. This means that the internal cost of each Falcon 9 rocket launch of 60 Starlink satellites may fall to $ 30 million, of which production and launch costs are $ 15 million each.