July 22 Starlink launch: success!

Starlink launch on July 22, 2022

SpaceX’s fourth Starlink launch for the month took flight at 1:39 p.m. EDT (17:39 UTC) today, July 22, 2022. The Starlink Group 3-2 mission launched 46 Starlink satellites atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in central California. After liftoff, viewers watched the Falcon 9 first stage return to Earth on the droneship Of Course I Still Love You. This liftoff marks the private company’s 30th re-flight of a booster in 2022. Wow!

Keep up to date on all launches and spaceflights at EarthSky’s dedicated launches page.

Want a recap of the action? See the recorded live stream above.

Starlink launch on July 17, 2022, plus 1

Just a few days prior at 10:20 a.m. EDT on Sunday, July 17, SpaceX launched 53 Starlink satellites from Cape Canaveral in Florida. You can watch it in the video above or in the tweet below. The mission, Starlink Group 4-22, was also launched atop a Falcon 9. The launch marked the private company’s 165th Falcon 9 launch: a new record!

Altogether, SpaceX has one more launch planned for the month, bringing the total on its agenda up to five. Keep reading to learn about more Starlink launches in July 2022.

Starlink Group 4-21: Thurs • July 7th, 2022 13:11 UTC
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, FL, USA | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 3-1: Mon • July 11th, 2022 1:39 UTC
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 4-22: Sun • July 17th, 2022 14:20 UTC
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Cape Canaveral, FL, USA | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 3-2: Fri • July 22nd, 2022 17:39 UTC
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA | SUCCESS

Starlink Group 4-25: Sun • July 24th, 2022 13:38 UTC
Falcon 9 Block 5 | Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA | DATE/TIME MAY CHANGE

Rocket rising on tail of flame, above billowing steam, all reflected in body of water.
Starlink launch via Darrell Etherington/ TechCrunch.

Growing numbers amid controversy

Love ’em or hate ’em, Starlink satellites are SpaceX’s internet communication satellite constellation. They deliver high-speed internet service worldwide, mainly to locations where ground-based internet is unreliable, unavailable, or expensive. The private company is well-known for launching batches back to back, several times a month, regularly lofting 60 satellites at a time. As of this writing, 2,604 are currently in orbit and will build up to perhaps as many as 30,000 eventually.

In the beginning, most thought it exciting to see the first few Starlink satellites traveling together in the night sky. But then more were launched, and then more. And as a result, astronomers began to worry.

Starlinks are bright. Consequently, astronomers say they’re photobombing astronomical images. In fact, they have the potential to interfere with the professional astronomical observations that have brought us our modern-day view of the cosmos. And, although SpaceX has tried to address the issue, the satellites remain far from what astronomers say is acceptable.

Starlink: Many short white lines in a dark sky and close-together long parallel lines cutting across.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | In this photo’s battle of satellites versus stars, the satellites appear to be winning. The shorter, more vertical lines are star trails. The parallel straight lines in the upper right are Starlink satellites. Additionally, there are also 2 meteors in this photo. Charlie Favret in Round Rock, Texas, captured this photo on December 13, 2019. He wrote: “I was curious to know if one could see the Starlink satellites on a bright night a couple of days after a full moon and inside the city limits. The answer is most definitely yes … While it was a stunning sight, is it also a sign of the night sky horror to come?” Thank you, Charlie.

In the meantime …

Meanwhile, space weather forecasters are working on ways for satellite companies to prepare for bad weather. Indeed, the project has been challenging without specific measurements to develop the technology. According to, however, SpaceX is stepping in to help, after bad solar weather sent 40 brand-new Starlink satellites hurtling back to Earth earlier this year.

In addition, the sun is only growing more powerful as its current cycle progresses. Consequently, its intensity triggers geomagnetic storms on Earth that make satellite operations, like Starlink, even more challenging. Stay current with our sun page – here – to learn more about that, including how your area might be affected.

Bottom line: SpaceX has five Starlink launches scheduled for the month of July 2022. Watch the fourth one that took place at 1:39 p.m. EDT on July 22.

Via Space Launch Schedule

July 15, 2022

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