Published: Sun, November 17, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Musk's SpaceX Launches Second Batch of 60 Starlink Satellites

Musk's SpaceX Launches Second Batch of 60 Starlink Satellites

A record-setting launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink satellites is scheduled for 9:56 a.m Eastern Standard Time on Monday, November 11, 2019, from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Unlike the current satellite internet providers, SpaceX's satellites operate at a lower altitude which it hopes will enable it to provide reliable Internet coverage to the world at a cheap price.

SpaceX has also made a request to the International Telecommunications Union-a United Nations body that regulates satellite signals-regarding the ability to communicate with a further 30,000 Starlink satellites in addition to the aforementioned 12,000, which have already been approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Space News reported.

SpaceX Starlink logo on the Falcon 9 fairing.

For the first time, fairing halves recovered over the Atlantic Ocean from a previous SpaceX launch will be reused. Three malfunctioned out of the first batch of 60 satellites launched in May and were unable to communicate with the ground; those devices will be left to float around aimlessly in the space until the Earth's gravity can slowly drag them back out of orbit which could take years.

SpaceX already has 62 Starlink satellites in orbit, although a handful are not working correctly.

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

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SpaceX's launch is a milestone for the company as this mission brings the project a step closer to its goal of providing internet access worldwide.

Back on October 22, Musk sent a tweet using the Starlink broadband connection already in place via the initial 60 satellites, following that up with a delighted, "Whoa, it worked!" If any satellite does not function properly, those will be left in the 280 km orbit to naturally deorbit.

In response to those concerns, SpaceX boss Elon Musk said the company would consider reducing the albedo of the satellites I.e how much light they reflect, by painting them black. Also, components of each satellite are 100 percent demisable and will quickly burn up in Earth's atmosphere at the end of their life cycle.

Starlink is created to provide high-speed internet connections on Earth.

The upcoming mission will mark the second batch of Starlink satellites sent by SpaceX into Space. Moreover, the rocket successfully landed after the launch and also picked up the two fairings that initially protect the rocket's expensive cargo after launch. "This will provide a competitive option for them". According to Musk, this will pay for SpaceX's mission to settle in mars and beyond.

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