PARIS — SpaceX hopes to launch 24 Starlink missions in 2020 as the company builds out a broadband megaconstellation that could ultimately number close to 12,000 satellites, a company executive said Sept. 10.
SpaceX’s Starlink launch cadence will likely average “two a month,” in addition to customer launches, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said at the World Satellite Business Week conference here.
“Next year I hope we launch 24 Starlinks,” Shotwell said.
Shotwell said SpaceX may launch more Starlink missions this year, but the final number will depend on customer missions. SpaceX will prioritize launching customers before its own broadband satellites, she said.
“If some customers move out, I’ll have some Starlink launches — maybe up to four Starlink launches this year — but we won’t push a customer out for that, so we will wait and see what the end of the year looks like and see what we can fit in.”
Shotwell didn’t specify if Starlink missions will be solely on Falcon 9s or if they will also include Falcon Heavy launches.
After inducing launch delays for customers due to Falcon 9 rocket failures in 2015 and 2016 SpaceX is ...