Table of contents:
- SpaceX is Rapidly Deploying StarLink Broadband Internet Satellites
- What is SpaceX StarLink Broadband Internet Service?
- High-Speed Internet Access Across the Globe
- The Main Advantages of the SpaceX StarLink Satellite Constellation
- Video: Real-Engineering – Why SpaceX Created the StarLink Satellite Constellation
- The Challenges – Disadvantages of the SpaceX StarLink Satellites
- More Facts About SpaceX StarLink Satellite Constellation
- Summary: What are the Advantages of the Starlink Satellite?
- Best resource for SpaceX Starship Updates
- Best resource for SpaceX Starship Updates
SpaceX is Rapidly Deploying StarLink Broadband Internet Satellites
In the latter part of 2020, SpaceX Starlink satellite broadband internet service began offering invitations to residents in the northern parts of the U.S. and some southern parts of Canada to be beta testers. As of August 2021, Starlink was providing service to more than 90,000 households here in the U.S. and globally. The SpaceX Starlink satellite service has users in 12 countries.
Currently, the Starlink Satellite Constellation has almost 100,000 customers, according to SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell. She also added that there is a waiting list of over 500,000 potential customers. The ambitions of the SpaceX Starlink Satellite Constellation project are very optimistic.
The ability to rapidly scale service is a big advantage of the SpaceX Starlink business model. Elon Musk has stated that the SpaceX Starlink satellite service could have more than 500,000 users by September 2022. However, SpaceX will need to gain approvals from national regulators to launch Starlink in each additional country.
The SpaceX Starlink Satellite beta testing was just the beginning, but the advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation are many. In the beginning, the SpaceX Starlink satellite beta testing area was limited to areas between 45 and 53 degrees latitude. The Starlink beta is currently coming to an end. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell estimates that completing the Starlink constellation might cost about 10 billion USD or more.
Update: As of 26 September 2021 SpaceX has launched 39 Starlink launch missions. The SpaceX Starlink Satellite Constellation consists of more than 1800 satellites. SpaceX estimates it would need at least 1,440 satellites in orbit to begin rolling out commercial service.
The constellation could eventually be tens of thousands of satellites strong. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given Elon Musk and SpaceX the approval to launch as many as 30 thousand broadband satellites.
SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation is a multi-billion-dollar imitative. The main goal is to provide broadband Internet service to remote and underserved areas of the world. Eventually when a majority of the constellation is completed SpaceX intends to offer its services to businesses. Airlines may be able to appreciate the advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation by using it to provide in-flight Internet service to passengers.
The SpaceX satellite Internet service will challenge the government-owned microwave cell towers and fiber-based geographically grounded limited Internet monopolies. This is an advantage of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation.
It will even the playing field between civilian and government space communications. The project offers much promise but has many challenges to overcome. But, most agree the advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation are many and outweigh the disadvantages.
Update: In October 2021, The next phase of the SpaceX Starlink Satellite Constellation began. SpaceX launched a batch of 51 satellites to begin populating a new shell within SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Constellation. Those 51 satellites incorporate new laser inter-satellite links. The laser links will be included on future satellites.
SpaceX had rushed to complete the development of the new inter-satellite laser terminals to put on all future Starlink satellites. The laser crosslinks, which have been tested on a handful of Starlink satellites on prior launches, will reduce the reliance of SpaceX’s internet network on ground stations. The ability to eliminate ground stations is an advantage of the SpaceX satellite Constellation project.
What is SpaceX StarLink Broadband Internet Service?
Developed by SpaceX, Starlink is a company in the process of creating a broadband satellite internet service. The service is referred to as “StarLink”. The concept of this service will allow people in rural and undeveloped parts of the world to have access to reliable broadband internet service.
By the year 2022, the Starlink satellite broadband service should be available to most of the world. The Starlink service will offer faster connection speeds with lower latency than existing established satellite services. Lower latency is a benefit of the Starlink Satellite project. Starlink satellites use a low-earth orbit.
What is a low-earth orbit (LEO)?
From 110 to 1200 (roughly) miles from Earth is a region that is considered the closest orbit to the Earth. This is the region that most space missions are executed. Missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station utilize these orbits.
Starlink’s satellites are in this orbit as opposed to most communication satellites that are in a higher orbit, about 23,000 miles above Earth’s surface. Here are four different orbits used:
- Moon’s Orbit – Lunar Orbit — Located 236,606 miles above sea level
- High-Earth Orbit — 23,000 miles above sea level
- Mid-Earth Orbit — Between 1200 and 22,000 miles above sea level
- Low-Earth Orbit — Between 180 and 1240 miles above sea level
One of the advantages of SpaceX Starlink Satellite service is that it uses Earth’s low-orbit. Since the Starlink satellites are closer to Earth the communication signals take less time to get to and back from the satellite. This results in lower latency, overcoming the biggest problem with typical satellite communications.
Starlink is Elon Musk’s next big thing
Although The SpaceX Starlink Satellite Constellation is a huge endeavor, Elon’s next project made be even bigger. rumor has it that he is part of a huge project that will change the lives of people on a global basis. Details are not publicly available yet.
Elon Musk has experienced great success when predicting trends and making investments. He was part of PayPal in 1999. PayPal currently has 286 million users. PayPal was acquired from Elon and his partners for $1.5 million.
He then started a company called Tesla. By the end of 2020, Tesla was bigger than Gm, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler combined. The success of Tesla has increased Elons’ net worth by adding about $57 billion.
And, on May 30th of 2020 another company created by Elon, SpaceX, became the first private company on the globe to launch American astronauts into space. He has been awarded huge contracts from the U.S. Government for future launches.
Now, Elon is going “all-in” again. The SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation is definitely his next big thing. How does he predict and create these profitable markets? He uses a proven 3-step process. It’s called “Creative Destruction”.
Elon Musk demonstrates “Creative Destruction” again
The term “Creative Destruction” may be familiar to some people. It is a 3-step process. It’s a process that continues to build Elon’s fortune.
- First — Elon finds a humongous size industry that has been around a long time.
- Second — He puts radical innovations to work and develops new technologies, methods, and implementation techniques that will make the old industry obsolete.
- Third — He puts his technologies to use. He flips the switch on the new tech, usually proving some major players wrong. In a short time, there are masses of people lining up to buy the product or service.
The advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation will prove to be the driving factor in this disruptive technology. What’s next?
High-Speed Internet Access Across the Globe
Starlink is rapidly expanding its constellation of Starlink broadband satellites. They hope is to provide near-global coverage by 2021. Currently, they are providing their broadband Starlink satellite internet service in parts of North America and Canada.
There are expectations that the Starlink service will surpass the speeds of existing satellite communications services, and provide much lower latency. Latency has been the main disadvantage of existing providers.
The FCC tells SpaceX it can deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites
In November 2018, the FCC authorized SpaceX to deploy 11,943 broadband satellites into Earth orbit. Approximately 7,500 of these satellites will be at a very-low Earth orbit (about 200 miles above sea level). The lower orbit will lower latency and increase the capacity of the constellation. That’s one of the big advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite deployments. Those satellites will operate in the 40GHz range for download, and at the 50GHz range for upload transmissions.
SpaceX StarLink has the go-ahead for 1 million U.S. ground installations
The advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation will be realized at first by residents of North America. The FCC has granted SpaceX Starlink permission to deploy up to one million U.S. ground satellite systems. The entire network is easily scalable and a global presence will be felt by 2022.
The Main Advantages of the SpaceX StarLink Satellite Constellation
One of the main advantages is global broadband availability. Broadband Internet will be available in areas that are remote and scattered. SpaceX Starlink will offer high-speed broadband along with exceptionally low latency, a characteristic that is very important in applications like financial management.
Satellite constellations are important to humanity. Starlink will offer additional safety globally by being used for weather predictions and other useful practices. It will enable a more connected world while providing better earth observation, communication, and navigation capabilities.
Although the pricing per ground station (initial setup and monthly fee) will not be low enough to call it cheap, it will be the best option, by far for many businesses and private residents. Thousand acre far4ms in remote areas will benefit from the service.
Video: Real-Engineering – Why SpaceX Created the StarLink Satellite Constellation
The Challenges – Disadvantages of the SpaceX StarLink Satellites
As with any ambitious project as complex and massive as the Starlink Satellite Constellation, there will be challenges that must be overcome. The technology is now proven and it’s realized by top professionals that the concept will work. The advantages of the SpaceX Starlink Satellite Constellation are evident. There are however two main concerns that must be addressed. Some experts are concerned about these disadvantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation
Could SpaceX Starlink Satellites Cause excessive space junk?
Space junk is already a huge problem. The problem is getting bigger. Space junk mostly consists of man-made stuff. there are hundreds of thousands of objects in low Earth orbit. This is not a new problem. In 2009 a U.S. communication satellite collided with an inactive Russian satellite. The two collide at more than 22,000 miles per hour, resulting in thousands of pieces of debris, more space junk.
Currently, there are more than 23,000 man-made fragments larger than 4 inches across that are being tracked in orbit. Those are the pieces of debris that are large enough to track. It’s estimated that as many as 500,000 pieces between one-half and 4 inches in size are in orbit. This debris is a problem. This debris is a threat to the International Space Station, satellites, space telescopes, and other useful objects in orbit.
The first group of Starlink satellites launched by SpaceX had a fail rate of 5%. That means that 1 in 20 satellites failed to properly operate after being launched. At low orbits, the dead satellites will naturally deorbit and burn up when re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. At a slighter higher orbit of 240 miles above sea level, it could take 5 or more years for the satellites to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.
SpaceX is working on this issue and has some safety measures in place. It will be a matter of time before we know the full detrimental effects of these dead satellites. and, to be noted, operational satellites will be able to use collision avoidance technologies.
Even without the space junk created by the SpaceX Starlink Satellite Constellation project, the problem will get worse if something is not done. Here’s an interesting video about space junk on the Space.com Website. As for a solution to tackle the space junk problem, there are some companies working on some ideas. Astroscale just launched the first commercial space junk cleanup mission designed to locate and retrieve used satellites and other debris orbiting Earth.
Will Light reflecting off SpaceX StarLink satellites hamper astronomers?
Here’s the second issue that must be overcome. Since the first launches of Starlink satellites astronomers have raised multiple concerns about the light reflecting off the satellites. At this time there were only 120 Starlink satellites in orbit. Eventually, the network may consist of over 40,000 satellites.
The concerns are addressing the astronomers’ ability to mitigate the reflections of the satellites. Just as we need almost total darkness to get a good view of the stars with our naked eyes, astronomers required even more darkness.
Every object in the atmosphere reflects at least some light during part of its orbit, depending on its materials, color, and size. While the SpaceX Starlink satellites beam information down to Earth, a tiny bit of sunlight often gets reflected down, too, both by a satellite’s body and its solar array.
SpaceX has been testing Starlink satellites that have an experimental darkening coating applied on one side. The antennas also have a coating. While SpaceX claims the reflections are reduced by as much as 55 percent, some astronomers do not agree.
The American Astronomical Society convened a virtual workshop on satellite constellations this summer, known as SatCon2. They want to bring attention to the issue of light pollution being caused by the Star4link Satellite project, and the projects of its rivals.
The American Astronomical Society issued reports and recommendations in regards to The SpaceX Starlink Satellite Constellation, coinciding with a meeting, called “Dark and Quiet Skies for Science and Society,” organized by the United Nations and the International Astronomical Union.
SpaceX and the Starlink project are experimenting with different techniques to minimize the problem that is affecting the astronomers’ ability to view the universe.
Did Starlink satellites interfere with the observation of the NEOWISE Comet?
While using The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope Nasa discovered a new comet. The discovery was made in the early part of 2020. Already by then, there were hundreds of Starlink satellites in low-earth orbit.
During one photographer’s effort to take a time-lapse photo of the comet known as NEOWISE, there was a problem. The reflection from the hundreds of Starlink satellites made taking the photo nearly impossible. The satellites were as prominent in the photo as the comet.
The following is a tweet posted July 22, 2020, by Julien
While this issue is being addressed by SpaceX and the Starlink team, astronomers are sure the solution will be sufficient to gain their night skies back. Currently, there are numerous observatories being hampered by the light being reflected by the satellites. Time will tell if any remedy will work well enough to appease the astronomy community.
More Facts About SpaceX StarLink Satellite Constellation
- Starlink Satellites are Compact — They have less mass, each satellite only weighing roughly 575 pounds. They have a flat-panel design that allows efficient storage during SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches. The satellite is about the size of an average refrigerator.
- Phased Array Antennas — The Starlink satellites have four powerful phased array antennas. They are very efficient and help to meet high capacity requirements.
- Simplified Solar Array — The solar cells in the single array are standardized. They are easily manufactured and their simple design allows for easy integration.
- Ion Thrusters — We’re talking Krypton here. The super-efficient ion thrusters on the Starlink satellites are powered by Krypton. Starlink satellites are the first spacecraft to use Kryton propulsion. It works with collision avoidance and can adjust the altitude of the satellite’s orbit. The Ion thrusters also can initiate a deorbit routine.
- Custom Navigation Capabilities — Not only does this feature allow the satellite to optimize its altitude but helps to enable precision placement of broadband throughput. In the future, the “Star Tracker” guidance system may be used to offer extremely accurate GPS coordinates.
- Collision Avoidance — It’s autonomous, using inputs from the Department of Defense debris tracking system the Starlink satellites can initiate evasive maneuvers. The system also can prevent collisions with other Starlink satellites during deployment and future maneuvers.
What are the advantages of Starlink?
► Starlink internet is faster than traditional satellite internet,
► Costs — Starlink’s internet price is competitive,
► Starlink will be available everywhere,
► Very easy to install,
► Simple disaster recovery,
► High reliability,
► and Superior portability.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk aims to connect large trucks, ships, and aircraft with Starlink Internet Service
Best resource for SpaceX Starship Updates
The Starlink Project by SpaceX achieved great success in 2020. It was a record year for launches. The Starlink project began beta-testing while launching more than 800 satellites.
The year 2021 is seeing the expansion of the SpaceX Starlink constellation. The constellation is bringing satellite Internet service to the British Isles, Europe, and even the North Pole. Reaching out to remote parts of the glode is one of the advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation.
Stay up to date on SpaceX Starlink satellite launch missions
The SpaceX launch manifest maintains a list of previous and future SpaceX Starlink satellite launches and other SpaceX missions. It is updated regularly. The site also offers SpaceX mission press kits. Press kits contain official information about each launch – payload description, detailed mission timeline, customer information, etc.
Jul 13, 2021
The next two SpaceX Starlink Satellite constellation missions seem to be NET August (dates and naming scheme unconfirmed); SARah 2/3 slipped to 2022.
On Wednesday, June 29, SpaceX launched its second dedicated SmallSat Rideshare Program mission, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Onboard were 85 commercial and government spacecraft (including CubeSats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles) and 3 Starlink satellites. The launch was scheduled for Tuesday, one day earlier, at the same time. The launch was scrubbed at t minus 11 seconds due to a range violation. It appears there was an unexpected aircraft in the range.
Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported the launch of GPS Space Vehicle 03, Turksat 5A, and five Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported Transporter-1 and a Starlink mission, and the other previously flew on SAOCOM 1B and a Starlink mission. Reusability is proving to be a big advantage of the SpaceX Starlink project and its associated boosters and other equipment.
There were only three SpaceX Starlink satellites on this mission. Most dedicated Starlink launches carry 60 satellites into orbit. There is another dedicated Starlink launch scheduled for next month.
The Wednesday launch went off as planned and on time at 2:59 p.m. EDT. It seems the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation launches are becoming quite routine. Being routine is an advantage of the SpaceX Starlink Satellite constellation project. SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported the Sentinel-6A mission. Following stage separation, SpaceX successfully landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which was located in the Atlantic Ocean. One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported four Starlink missions, and the other previously supported a Starlink mission and the Transporter-1 mission.
The quick turnaround and the ability to reuse the first-stage boosters is a big advantage of the SpaceX Starlink broadband satellite constellation program. Elon Musk has currently said that there was “no obvious limit” to how many times a booster could launch and that “100+ flights are possible”. Of course, as Musk adds, some parts of the rocket would need to be replaced or upgraded over time to accomplish this feat.
The Saturday launch took place at 6:56 p.m. EST. The mission took place from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation grew in size by 52 satellites. This mission only had 52 Starlink satellites aboard compared to the usual 60. This mission was used to provide service to two other companies as well. This is one of the advantages of the SpaceX Starlink program: The ability to provide services to other companies in the industry. This mission had two additional payloads aboard, a Capella Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite, and Tyvak-0130.
This was the eighth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and three Starlink missions.
The Sunday launch was the 37th Starlink satellite launch mission to date. The first stage booster used made its eleventh launch mission. The successful landing of the first stage marks the 83rd overall successful landing and recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage booster. The quick turnaround and the ability to reuse the first-stage boosters is a big advantage of the SpaceX Starlink broadband satellite constellation program. Read more about the Falcon 9 orbital-class rocket here.
The SpaceX Falcon 9 launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. After stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage returned to Earth and landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship.
This was the first Falcon 9 first stage booster to complete a tenth launch and landing. The first stage booster previously supported Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station, the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, SXM-7, and now seven Starlink broadband satellite constellation missions.
05/4/2021 (Star Wars Day)
On Tuesday, May 4 at 3:01 p.m. EDT, SpaceX launched another 60 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This was the ninth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched Telstar 18 VANTAGE, Iridium-8, and six Starlink missions.
This flight, called Starlink 25, is the 13th mission so far for SpaceX in 2021. The company has been continuing a rapid launch pace, leaning on its fleet of flight-proven rockets. So far every mission this year has flown on a reused booster. The ability to reuse the first stage rockets used to expand the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation is a big advantage and allows for a rapid deployment schedule.
And here’s a fun SpaceX fact for Star Wars Day: The company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk named the its Falcon rocket family after the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. (Its Dragon spacecraft are named for Puff the Magic Dragon.)
On Wednesday, April 28 at 11:44 p.m. EDT, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. This was the seventh launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched GPS III Space Vehicle 03, Turksat 5A, and four Starlink missions.
Wednesday’s flight marks the fifth load of the broadband satellites that this particular booster has carried into space. SpaceX has been using its previously flown boosters with the most miles to transport its own satellites into space.
The 24th SpaceX Starlink Satellite constellation mission took place on Wednesday, April 7. SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster supporting this mission previously supported the launches of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and two Starlink missions.
Following stage separation, SpaceX successfully landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship, which was located in the Atlantic Ocean. This was the 74th successful recovery of a Falcon 9 first stage. One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported the launches of AMOS-17 and two Starlink missions, and the other previously supported a Starlink mission.
On Wednesday, March 24 at 4:28 a.m. EDT, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. This was the sixth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously supported the launch of GPS-III Space Vehicle 03, Turksat 5A, and three Starlink missions. One half of Falcon 9’s fairing supported the Sentinel-6A mission and the other supported a previous Starlink mission.
Side note: There are still concerns within the industry that the disadvantages of the Spacex Starlink satellite constellation may outweigh the advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation. The main concerns are space debris and light pollution. As SpaceX continues to increase the number of satellites within the constellation more data will be available as to the advantages and disadvantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation.
On Sunday, March 14 at 6:01 a.m. EDT, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This was the ninth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously supported the launch of Crew Dragon Demo-1, RADARSAT Constellation, SXM-7, and five Starlink missions.
That means the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation now offers additional coverage to more remote locations. That’s one the advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation, offering broadband Internet service to remote areas.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lit up the predawn sky early this morning (March 11) as it carried a new batch of 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit, before nailing its landing on a floating platform at sea. The two-stage Falcon 9 booster lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at 3:13 a.m. EST (0813 GMT).
About 8.5 minutes later, the rocket’s reusable first stage returned to Earth for its sixth landing, touching down on one of SpaceX’s drone ships. The floating platform, called “Just Read the Instructions,” was stationed out in the Atlantic Ocean, about 400 miles (630 kilometers) downrange.
We look forward to the next launch of SpaceX Starlink satellites as the size of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation grows. The advantages of the Starlink satellite constellation are already being realized by tens of thousands beta subscribers in multiple regions.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches and lands for the 8th time, delivering 60 Starlink satellites to orbit. The advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation are becoming more apparent. This Launch and landing was the 75th successful recovery of a Falcon9 stage 2 rocket and the eighth recovery of this particular booster.
The successful liftoff came just a few hours after SpaceX’s Starship prototype, SN10, successfully completed a high-altitude test flight at the company’s facilities in Texas at 6:15 p.m. EST (2315 GMT). The stainless-steel launcher soared 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) in the sky, before touching back down. The flight went as planned, but the massive vehicle exploded shortly thereafter.
This latest mission marked the company’s 20th Starlink mission and its sixth mission overall for 2021 for SpaceX. SpaceX is being very efficient in its delivery of Starlink Satellites as it continues to provide Internet access to remote parts of the world. The advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation are being appreciated by more and more people with every successful launch.
SpaceX’s Starlink service is already serving more than 10,000 people with broadband beamed down from space. Most customers are getting Internet speeds of more than 100 megabits per second. Later this year that speed will increase to about 300 Mbps.
The SpaceX boss also believes that by the end of this year his rocket company will have deployed enough Starlink satellites to provide “most of Earth” with some degree of internet service, with the entire planet covered at some point in 2022. “Then it’s about densifying coverage,” Musk said.
On Monday, February 15th SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster that supported this mission previously flew on five missions. Unfortunately, the Falcon 9 did not successfully land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship, which was located in the Atlantic Ocean.
Starlink is now delivering initial beta service both domestically and internationally and will continue expansion to near-global coverage of the populated world in 2021. If you’re interested in service, Starlink recently started taking orders on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve your spot ($99 refundable deposit) in line, head over to starlink.com for more information.
On Thursday, February 4 at 1:19 a.m. EST, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage successfully returned to Earth and landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean, completing this booster’s fifth launch and landing.
The mission carried 133 government and commercial spacecraft. There were orbital transfer vehicles, microsats, and Cubesats. In addition, there were 10 Starlink Satellites onboard. This SpaceX launch deployed the most spacecraft ever on a single mission. This is an example of one of the many advantages of the SpaceX Starlink program.
The Starlink satellites aboard this mission were the first in the constellation to deploy to a polar orbit. A Polar Orbit (PO) is an orbit in which a satellite passes above or nearly above Earth’s North and South poles on each revolution. It has an inclination of 90 degrees (or very close to 90) to the equator.
Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
In December 2020, the Wise County Public School District in rural Virginia, where approximately 40% of teachers and students do not have internet access at home, announced it would provide some families in the area with Starlink to support remote learning. Starlink units were deployed in January and over 40 homes are now connected with high-speed internet.
Another batch of 60 Starlink satellites was launched from Kennedy Space Center’s LC-39A launch facility. The first stage ASDS landed successfully on ‘Just Read The Instructions”, the recovery barge.
The winds out at sea were higher than any winds on previous landings, testing the capabilities of the equipment. This was the 17th Starlink mission and the first of 2021.
The Falcon 9 first stage was designed with a lifecycle of 10 or more missions, with minimal maintenance between missions. The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster supporting this mission previously flew on seven other missions:
- The SXM-7 mission in December 2020,
- Launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission in June 2019,
- launch of Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission in March 2019,
- and Four other Starlink missions.
One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported a Starlink mission and the other previously supported two.
Starlink announces they have been awarded an operating license for the U.K. Hundreds of installation kits have been shipped to Beta-testers. The cost of the starter kits is running 20% higher than the cost for the U.S counterparts. Subscription services are also higher, an additional £84 ($120) for a monthly subscription.
Beta testers can expect download speeds of 50 to 150 Mbps. The speeds are not as fast as what beta-testers in the U.S are experiencing, but a big improvement over other existing options.
A beta-tester in Denmark has reported download speeds of 85Mbps, compared to the 0.5Mbps his former service offered. That’s 1700% faster downloads.
That’s another one of the big advantages of the SpaceX Starlink satellite constellation.
Best resource for SpaceX Starship Updates
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Updated 10/12/2021 by Kirby Allen