A dozen Starlink missions behind: SpaceX launched 60 more satellites

25 Octobre, 2020, 11:11 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • SpaceX gradually deorbits its previous Starlink satellites after the launch of the new constellation

The partnership with SpaceX Starlink will provide high-speed, low latency satellite broadband for Microsoft's Azure Modular Datacenter, the company said in a blog post.

After conducting successful satellite launch missions a year ago, SpaceX plans to deorbit these satellites that are barely 18 months old.

SpaceX will try again at 8:21 a.m. California time Saturday.

The upper stage of the Falcon 9 deployed the satellites into orbit 63 minutes after takeoff, allowing SpaceX to build on its previous successes. Ultimately, the competition is nearly entirely symbolic, given that SpaceX has an effective monopoly on reusable orbital launch capabilities and will nearly inevitably continue to beat its records as it grows to become the world's number one expert in the field of reusable rockets.

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The now thrice-flown Falcon 9 booster lifted off at 11:31 AM EDT, carrying its payload of 60 satellites to orbit. Initial plans for the array call for as many as 12,000 satellites, with more than 40,000 ultimately envisioned for the full system. The shuttle developers forgot to incorporate SpaceX's out-of-family data to one of the ground sensors, a fatal omission that almost cost the mission's success.

SpaceX will try to launch the company's next batch of Starlink satellites on Saturday, after an issue with a camera forced it to scrub an attempt earlier this week. SpaceX has already indicated that the first public Starlink beta tests will begin to rollout once Starlink-13 satellites are operational - a milestone they will likely cross in November.

"The goal of Starlink is to create a network that will help provide internet services to those who are not yet connected, and to provide reliable and affordable Internet across the globe", according to the Kennedy Space Center. More than third of children and their families in the district are without Internet access.

"Our research clearly indicates the lack of broadband access is a crisis in Ector County", said Scott Muri, the school district's superintendent, in a statement. "In collaboration with SpaceX, we are providing space-based Internet service to students and families that have few, if any, options".

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