On Friday, August 12, SpaceX brought Group 3-3 of the Starlink constellation into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 5:40 p.m. EDT (2140 GMT; 2:40 p.m. local time).

A Falcon 9 rocket launched the 46 Starlink craft into space. About nine minutes after launch, the rocket’s first stage landed atop a drone ship in the Pacific Ocean a little less than nine minutes after liftoff. The second stage was expected to deploy the satellites 63 minutes after launch, after the livestream concluded.

SpaceX’s 36th launch of 2022 added to its ever-growing record for launches in a year. The company also concluded its 62nd consecutive landing of a first stage, and a 34th reflight of a booster in 2022. The new bunch of satellites are part of Group 3, which orbits in a shell that may be prone to debris “squalls” from a Russian anti-satellite test that took place in November 2021, according to a recent report by SpaceNews.

Friday’s flight was the 10th for this particular Falcon 9 first stage, according to a SpaceX mission description. VSFB supports Department of Defense polar launches and ICBM missile training and testing, as well as NASA civil launches and commercial launches for global corporations. As the “spaceport of the future”, it will host commercial space business opportunities projected to grow exponentially. The Base estimates the economic impact of its traditional and new space support mission at $4.5B.

EconAlliance is proud to support our region’s space enterprise programs. Vandenberg Space Force Base isn’t just a national security asset, it is the nucleus of an entire ecosystem for high-tech engineering, high-skill manufacturing, bleeding-edge entrepreneurship, and life-long inspiration that reaches for the stars.