Wednesday, 24 July, 2019


Musk Tweets Picture of Falcon 9 Fairing Packed with 60 Starlink Satellites

Uploads%252fvideo uploaders%252fdistribution thumb%252fimage%252f90516%252f83fd41f8 e1ad 45c1 905c Musk Tweets Picture of Falcon 9 Fairing Packed with 60 Starlink Satellites
Melba Vasquez | 14 May, 2019, 22:28

A few more Starlink satellites launches are on the cards this year, but specific counts and dates for these depend on how this second set of satellites fare. But that duo, nicknamed Tintin-A and Tintin-B, were pathfinders; the 60 going up this week are "production-design" satellites, Musk said. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, said last week that these are still only scaled down test models - the company will start launching satellites for actual service later in 2019, according to Space News. The first two prototype Starlink satellites were launched by SpaceX in February 2018.

SpaceX's definitive goal is to put nearly 11,000 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit among now and the mid-2020s, giving rapid speed internet access to areas of the planet where broadband is rare, spotty or non-existent.

The full time frame for Starlink's deployment of its full 11,943 satellites has not been revealed, but given that the SpaceX Falcon rocket can only deploy 60 at a time, 200 launches would be required to fully deploy the system.

Tightly packed into the rocket's school bus-sized fairing will be 60 Starlink satellites, which will help kick off the company's entrance into the telecommunications business. Unlike traditional communication satellites, which orbit in geostationary orbits at an extreme distance from the Earth, the Starlink satellites will sit in low-Earth orbit.

He followed up with this concerning tweet: "Much will likely go wrong on 1st mission".

If everything goes according to plan, the first 60 Starlink satellites will be launched into space on Wednesday. Musk hopes to launch a total of 12,000 satellites. But now SpaceX is poised to gain a significant lead in the race to provide internet from space, though it looks like more hardware upgrades are still needed for future missions.

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