The internet doesn’t come easy. For everything to seem just one click away, rockets must go into space. SpaceX is leveraging its experience in building the rockets to deploy the world’s advanced broadband internet system. SpaceX’s plan is to build a 12,000 Starlink satellite network by 2024. For now, it launched its fourth batch of 60.
On Wednesday, SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket left Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force, Florida, and deployed at an altitude of 290 kilometers. After the checks required, the 60 satellites will be moved into their intended orbits at the operational altitude of 550 kilometers. By that, Starlink meets or exceeds all regulatory and industry standards.
At this altitude, if the propulsion system becomes inoperable, the satellites will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within 1-5 years. That’s significantly less than the hundreds or thousands of years required at higher altitudes.
Broadband Internet For The Northern US And Canada Via SpaceX Starlink Satellites
Starlink satellites are like Superman’s descendants. Not just because of the 4 powerful phased array antennas that enable a huge amount of throughput to be placed and redirected in a very short time but because it is the first krypton propelled spacecraft. When the time comes for a satellite to end the mission, it will deorbit due to the onboard propulsion system. The satellite has a tracking system that can autonomously perform avoiding collision with space debris and other spacecraft.
Also, the satellite’s volume is very compact, which allows carrying a higher volume of satellites at once. With the new 60 pieces added to the former 180, SpaceX still has a long way to fulfill the task. Hence, they revealed a new goal to launch 30,000 additional ones, bringing the total to 2,000. You can’t accuse them of not being bold!
Starlink is targeting service in the Northern U.S. and Canada in 2020, but they intend to expand rapidly to near-global coverage of the populated world by 2021.
David Blair was a reporter for Henri Le Chat Noir, before becoming the lead editor. David has over 20 bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to science, games and technology. David studied at Birmingham University.