With high demand for Starlink’s satellite internet, the SpaceX company has launched a growing number of satellites. By early 2022 more than 2,000 low-orbit Starlink satellites had been launched. Over 1,800 Starlink satellites were active and operational. SpaceX performed over 30 dedicated launches with Starlink satellites by early 2022. Each launch enabled around 50 satellites to deploy. Nearly 900 of the current Starlink satellites were launched just in 2021.

Starlink Satellites Mass-Produced for Efficiency

Starlink’s low-orbit satellites are mass-produced, allowing satellite internet coverage to scale up gradually as more satellites are regularly launched. In 2021, Starlink engineers were able to manufacture a minimum of 120 satellites every month or up to six a day. Updates to Starlink satellites have been made since the first operational units were launched in 2019, however. Sun visors have been added to reduce brightness, and a second version of the satellite features inter-constellation laser link capability.

How Many Total Starlink Satellites Expected

Starlink has clearance to deploy approximately 12,000 of its low-orbit satellites. This is a significant increase from the initially approved 4,400 satellites. The company has filed requests for additional approval to launch another 30,000 of its broadband satellites.

Though current SpaceX rocket launches accommodate around 50 satellites at a time, SpaceX has plans to utilize its Starship in the future. The first orbital test flight of the SpaceX Starship is likely to be conducted in 2022. When it’s operational, the powerful spacecraft could carry several hundred satellites at a time for deployment.

Satellite Internet Provides Connectivity to Remote Areas

Starlink has more than 145,000 satellite internet users worldwide, with hundreds of thousands more pre-orders. Demand continues to grow for affordable high-speed internet in underserved regions. While Starlink positions low-orbit satellites and continues to compete for the global market, SpaceX is also honing its skills in efficient engineering and deployment of communications devices – something it hopes to apply in future Mars settlement.

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