If you were at all worried you missed the latest launch of a slew of satellites from SpaceX, then I’ll need you to stop anxiously pacing and relax. The good news is this morning’s launch of 54 Starlink satellites has been delayed until tomorrow morning (November 13), due to unfavorable weather conditions in Cape Canaveral, FL.
Starlink 31 will see a Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station with a payload of 54 Starlink satellites. After liftoff, the plan is to separate the payload and land the rocket on the deck of the SpaceX droneship named, “Just Read the Instructions.”
These latest satellites will make up yet another portion of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, meant to provide satellite internet. The eventual launch of these satellites would bring the total number in orbit to 1,844, as Space reports.
SpaceX hopes to have up to 42,000 satellites in orbit eventually, though it’s currently only cleared to fly only 12,000 of these by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
Even if the FCC has only cleared SpaceX for less than one third of the satellites it plans to launch, that’s still reportedly more than the number of satellites currently orbiting the Earth and even more than every satellite launched, ever:
To put that into perspective, only about 4,300 active artificial satellites currently orbit Earth, and only 11,670 have ever been launched in all of history, according to the European Space Agency.
That’s a lot of space debris for our interplanetary descendants to wade through.