SpaceX is set to launch its 47th Starlink mission with the Starlink Group 4-18 mission. Starlink Group 4-18 will launch on a flight-proven Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The launch will take place on May 18 at 6:20 am EDT during a single-second instantaneous launch window.
Starlink Group 4-18 will be the 21st SpaceX launch and 14th Starlink mission of 2022. 4-18 is also the last of three missions to launch within five days. Space Launch Delta 45 has predicted a 20% chance of violating weather constraints, and the same in case of a 24-hour delay.
Starlink is SpaceX’s low Earth orbit satellite internet constellation that aims to deliver fast, affordable, and low latency service where internet is currently either unavailable or expensive. The constellation began launches in February 2018 with the Tintin A, B (MircoSat 2A, 2B) Starlink test satellites. These satellites were launched with the Spanish PAZ Earth radar observation satellite.
Starlink Group 4-18 mission is the fourth of five planned missions for May. On May 25 at 2:25 pm EDT, Falcon 9 (B1061-8) will launch the Transporter-5 mission on SpaceX’s fifth dedicated rideshare mission. B1061-8 will then attempt to land on SpaceX’s Landing Zone-1 after launch.
In June, it is set to be another busy month starting with the SpaceX CRS-25 mission. CRS-25 will launch from LC-39A on June 7 at 11:30 am EDT. Other missions include more Starlink flights, the Nilesat-301 mission using B1049-10 on its last flight, and other commercial missions.
2022 for SpaceX has been a historic year for rocket reuse and the number of flights. With the 20 launches already under its belt, it keeps up with the one launch per 6.9-day average. This launch will also tie the number of launches that took place in 2018. A large part of SpaceX’s ability to launch rapidly is using flight-proven first-stage boosters.