Published: Thu, January 30, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Starlink: SpaceX successfully launches fourth batch of satellites

Starlink: SpaceX successfully launches fourth batch of satellites

SpaceX officials say the company is working on techniques to darken the small satellites and minimize the threat, but launches are proceeding in the meantime.

Professional and amateur astronomers alike worry the reflectivity and radio emissions from the Starlink satellites, and rival constellations being built by competitors, will impact sensitive observations.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands poised for launch Monday from Cape Canaveral, weather permitting, to launch a fourth batch of 60 Starlink internet relay satellites. In any case, none of those complaints will halt today's launch, which should be taking place shortly.

Elon Musk's SpaceX will be launching 60 new Starlink satellites to follow its increasing broadband internet mega constellation in orbit. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9's first stage on the "Of Course I Still Love You" droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

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SpaceX is one step closer to an even more re-usable launch system today, after it successfully recovered one fo the halves of the fairing used on its Starlink satellite launch today. Approximately 45 minutes after liftoff, SpaceX's two fairing recovery vessels, "Ms. Tree" and "Ms. Chief" - tried to catch both halves of the Falcon 9's aerodynamic fairing.

SpaceX plans to launch into space about 12,000 Starlink satellites by 2024, and has revealed a bigger plan to launch 30,000 additional ones, bringing the total to 42,000.

Starlink is created to provide broadband internet access to billions of people around the world who are now underserved, with military communications among the potential applications.

Starlink is mulling to launch the broadband service in the Northern U.S. and Canada by 2020 and expand it globally by 2021. Getting the right number of satellites up in orbit.

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