SpaceX Launches 60 Satellites to Space

15 Décembre, 2019, 17:14 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • SpaceX Falcon 9 Starlink

The lift-off took place at 09.56 am Florida-time from Cape Canaveral.

Initially, SpaceX only planned to launch a few thousand satellites to power Starlink, but that number has since ballooned to at least 30,000.

According to SpaceX, 1,440 of the flat-panel satellites will be able to provide Internet service over the populated world, according to reports. "Prior to orbit raise, SpaceX engineers will conduct data reviews to ensure all Starlink satellites are operating as intended", the company's mission overview states. Numerous satellites will remain in very-low Earth orbit (VLEO) to improve connectivity.

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And the actual deployment of the 60 Starlink satellites! CEO Elon Musk estimated Starlink could generate 10x what the launch business can muster. Starlink satellites use Krypton-fueled electric thrusters to reach their target orbit after leaving their rocket. He said that his rocket ship would cost much less than NASA rockets for getting into the orbit. They're SpaceX's first operational Starlink systems, building on lessons the company drew from a launch in May that saw 60 prototype units deploy outside the atmosphere.

Astronomers say the proliferation of the bright metallic satellites could seriously degrade the night view, interfering with telescopes trained on space.

That's not the only record for this launch, and for SpaceX's re-usable rocketry program in general: This flight used a previously flown fairing for the first time ever (for any rocket company) during this mission. The stage once supported the Iridium-7, SAOCOM-1A, and Nusantara Satu missions. The rocket's second stage is single-use. Then, in a separate post on Twitter, still, about the issue, Musk also said, the company has no intention of interfering with the optical astronomy. Back in October, SpaceX and NASA announced that SpaceX will be launching astronauts with its Crew Dragon spacecraft into space as early as the beginning of the next year and that when it becomes operations, it will serve as the main transportation for astronauts to the International Space Station. "All we can do right now is go on what they've actually put up there". The company isn't alone in wanting to start a constellation: Jeff Bezos's Amazon.com Inc. has a rival effort called Project Kuiper, and SoftBank Group Corp. -backed OneWeb aims to have a network available by 2021.

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