SpaceX Starlink Mission Launched On Friday, Aug. 7, At 1:12 AM
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On Friday, August 7 at 1:12 a.m. EDT, 5:12 UTC, SpaceX launched its tenth Starlink mission, which included 57 Starlink satellites and 2 satellites from BlackSky, a Spaceflight customer. Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship. The BlackSky Global spacecraft were deployed about an hour after liftoff, and the Starlink satellites deployed approximately 90 minutes after liftoff, in the video “Starlink Mission“, below:
SpaceX will launch 57 Starlink satellites and 2 BlackSky Global satellites on their Falcon 9 rocket. It’s launching no earlier than August 7, 2020, from Launch Complex-39a (LC-39a) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Starlink 9, is the ninth operational launch of SpaceX’s Starlink communication satellite constellation, in the video “Watch SpaceX Launch 57 Starlink Satellites PLUS 2 other BlackSky Global satellites!“, below:
Watch SpaceX Falcon 9’s launch of 57 Starlink satellites and 2 spacecraft from BlackSky, a Spaceflight customer, in the video “WATCH: SpaceX Starlink Mission Launch – Livestream“, below:
Like many of us, you may have laid witness to some bright strings of light shooting across the night sky recently. Shooting stars? Orchestrated drones? UFOs perhaps? In the video “How Starlink Will Change The Internet“, below:
In the video “Why SpaceX is Making Starlink“, below:
In the video “Starlink explained – why SpaceX needs 42,000 satellites“, below:
See Falcon 9’s launch of 57 Starlink satellites and 2 spacecraft from Spaceflight’s customer BlackSky, in the video “Watch SpaceX Starlink Rocket Launch!“, below:
For more about Starlink in 2020, please refer to the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
As of 7 August 2020, SpaceX has launched 597 Starlink satellites. They plan to launch 60 more per Falcon 9 flight, with launches as often as every two weeks in 2020. In total, nearly 12,000 satellites are planned to be deployed, with a possible later extension to 42,000. The initial 12,000 satellites are planned to orbit in three orbital shells:
- First: 1,584 in a 550 kilometres (340 mi) altitude shell,
- Second: 2,825 Ku-band and Ka-band spectrum satellites at 1,110 kilometres (690 mi),
- Third: 7,500 V-band satellites at 340 kilometres (210 mi).
On 17 April 2020, SpaceX modified the architecture of the Starlink network. SpaceX submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposing to operate more satellites in lower orbits than the FCC previously authorized. The first phase will include 1,584 satellites orbiting at 550 kilometres (340 mi) in planes inclined 53.0°. That part of the constellation, for launch through the end of 2020, remains unchanged.
SpaceX previously had regulatory approval from the FCC to operate another 2,825 satellites in higher orbits between 1,110 kilometres (690 mi) and 1,325 kilometres (823 mi), in orbital planes inclined at 53.8°, 70.0°, 74.0° and 81.0°. The modified plan submitted to the FCC by SpaceX foresees Ku-band and Ka-band satellites in the next phase of the Starlink network all operated at altitudes between 540 kilometres (340 mi) and 570 kilometres (350 mi) at inclinations of 53.2°, 70.0° and 97.6°. The application covers 4,408 Starlink satellites, one fewer than envisioned under the previous architecture. SpaceX plans to launch another 7,500 V-band into orbits around 345 kilometres (214 mi)
In June 2020, SpaceX applied in the United States for use of the E-band in the Gen2 constellation. The generation 2 Starlink constellation is expected to include up to 30,000 satellites and provide complete global coverage.
For more about the background of Starlink, please refer to the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX to provide satellite Internet access. The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), working in combination with ground transceivers. SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military, scientific, or exploratory purposes. The SpaceX satellite development facility in Redmond, Washington houses the Starlink research, development, manufacturing, and on-orbit control operations. The total cost of the decade-long project to design, build, and deploy the constellation was estimated by SpaceX in May 2018 to be about US$10 billion.
Product development began in 2015, with the first two prototype test-flight satellites launched in February 2018. A second set of test satellites and the first large deployment of a piece of the constellation occurred in May 2019 when the first 60 operational satellites were launched. As of 2020, SpaceX is launching 60 satellites at a time, aiming to deploy 1,584 of the 260 kilograms (570 lb) spacecraft to provide near-global service by late 2021 or 2022. SpaceX is targeting a private beta service in the Northern United States and Canada by August 2020 with a public beta following in November 2020, service beginning at high latitudes between 44°-52° North.
Concerns have been raised about the long-term danger of space debris resulting from placing thousands of satellites in orbits above 600 kilometres (370 mi) and the negative impact on astronomy, although the Starlink satellite orbits were lowered to 550 kilometres (340 mi) or below and SpaceX has reportedly solved the latter issue. On Starlink 2, one of the satellites has an experimental coating to make it less reflective, and thus impact ground-based astronomical observations less. A June 2020 launch included one satellite with an experimental sunshade.
On 15 October 2019, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission submitted filings to the International Telecommunication Union on SpaceX’s behalf to arrange spectrum for 30,000 additional Starlink satellites to supplement the 12,000 Starlink satellites already approved by the FCC.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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